An Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) trooper and good Samaritan were recently honored for saving the life of a teen involved in a two-vehicle crash on April 22.
Trooper Matthew Soeder was working the midnight shift out of the OSHP Ravenna Post when he got the call.
“The call came in of a two-car crash at the intersection down the road. Unknown injuries at the time,” Soeder reflected.
When he arrived on the scene, he saw that one of the vehicles had flipped over. He also noted several victims on the ground and a display of carnage.
Soeder immediately began to assist the first victim, who was having a seizure, when a good Samaritan present at the scene said the other victim had life-threatening injuries and whose foot was severed.
Soeder rushed over to stop the bleeding.
“I immediately put on my gloves and got my tourniquet out, applied that tourniquet and made sure there was enough pressure on there. It was snug enough, and then between myself and the other gentleman on the scene, James, made sure that the tourniquet stayed on,” Soeder said.
James Newman Sr., along with his wife, were tending to Aiden Brattoli, a passenger in one of the vehicles who was badly injured.
“The wheels were still spinning on the van. It was on its side, and I ran up to the car to make sure the people were OK, and I saw Aiden half in the car, half out of the car, all over the sharp metal of the glass,” Newman recalled.
Newman, a former Boy Scout, said his first aid and CPR training classes immediately came to mind.
“He kept coming in and out of consciousness, and we just did what we had to do. I just did it. I don’t know, just something that happens.”
Since the crash, Brattoli has undergone several surgeries and blood transfusions.
“His scapula was shattered, two vertebrae were broken, his femur was broken in many places, so they had to put a rod in his leg, and then they told us that they had to amputate below his knee,” mother Koreen Brattoli said.
Father Steve Brattoli said doctors told him the tourniquet applied by Trooper Soeder likely saved their son’s life.
On November 29, Soeder and Newman were honored for their efforts.
OSHP Superintendent Colonel Charles Jones awarded Soeder with the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Distinguished Service Medallion Award, while Newman received a Certificate of Recognition Award.
“Without you (Trooper Soeder) and without James, you both stepping up and working together as a team, we may not be having this moment and this recognition ceremony today,” Jones said.
Brattoli is returning to his studies at Kent State University.
“Every day, he inspires us. I mean, everything that he does. He has taken all of these challenges that he has been dealt, and he has come through incredibly,” Koreen Brattoli said. “There are no words. The appreciation that we have for them, it’s just incredible, and usually, I’m not at a loss for words, but today the only thing I can say is thank you.”