Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon was on his way home Saturday afternoon, following a practice, when he witnessed a car accident in front of him.
Heading home on I-279, just north of Pittsburgh near the McKnight Road exit, a car flipped on its side, right before Dixon's eyes. He was closest to the accident, and was the first to arrive on the scene. He pulled one of the victims from the car. The worst injury sustained was a broken ankle by the driver of the vehicle.
"I pulled off to the side and ran over to the accident," Dixon said. "I was the first one to get there, but I was the closest car to it. There were not a lot of cars out at the time. There were a number of people that came, I want to make that clear. Charles Green, a corrections officer, he stopped."
Dixon saw smoke coming from the vehicle, but was later told the smoke was created from the airbags being deployed. When he stopped, Dixon could hear people inside the vehicle. He was able to pull one of the passengers through the window. He pushed through the windshield to create an opening, where he was able to free the first victim. He was able to see the driver of the car, who was not responding when Dixon asked if she was okay.
"At that point, I tried to help, pulling back the windshield, trying to get a bigger opening for the person to slide out," Dixon said. "The car was on its side at that point. I think I had pulled out the first person by her legs, through the opening in the window.
"I tried to see if anyone else was in there. I pulled the first person out by the legs. The second person, I could see through the opening. At that point, I reached, but she wasn't responding. I was calling out, ‘Are you all right?' There wasn't any response. I could reach her. I could touch her, and I could tell she was breathing. At that point, a few more people were there. She didn't remember what happened. She couldn't move. She was stuck there."
Dixon suffered minor cuts to his thumb and his index finger as a result of pushing through the windshield. He was heavily bandaged by paramedics who were on the scene, and almost sounded surprised when he got home, to see the cuts were minor, and that he was wrapped so heavily for extra precaution. Despite being the good Samaritan act, he took some ribbing from his wife, who was surprised to see small cuts, accompanied by a large bandage.
"I cut my hands on the glass, as I put the windshield, as I got the first person out," Dixon said. "They're just small cuts. They had put a bunch of bandages on me. When I got home, I had a lot of blood, it was on my clothes and stuff. My wife looked at the cuts, she said, ‘These are little cuts. You're soft.' They're just little cuts, nothing major."
"Once we got that, the ambulance showed up, and we let the professionals take over. The got the other young lady out. They did everything. The fire trucks were able to cut the windshield off and get that second person out."
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