Growing From A Rescue Opportunity
--by Modestobob, posted Jun 27, 2009
We had a marvelous 10 days in Idaho and were driving home a day earlier than we'd planned. We just wanted to have a day to rest and prepare for our work weeks ahead. Little did we know the impact our leaving early would have on someone else.
We left Caldwell, Idaho at around 1pm and went through a small town called Marsing, population 790. They have a volunteer fire department, a couple of gas stations and a small market. About 10 miles on the other side of Marsing, we saw thick black plumes of smoke miles down the road to where we were driving. It didn't look good at all. We got to where the smoke was, and discovered a Big Rig (18-wheel truck) on fire and the driver was sitting on the side of the road. Another car pulled over to see if everything was okay too. We pulled up to assist and offer any first-aid we could.
We immediately went to the driver, Basan, who was an owner-operator of the truck, to see if we could help him. He had a severe burn on his left hand and a bad shoulder (possibly a broken collar bone). We stablilized him, brought our towels to wrap his hand and a couple of gallons of water to keep it wet for him. We also hydrated him, and put him in our air-conditioned car until help arrived.
There was no cell-phone service on this stretch of road and many stopped to ofer to go back for help. A couple did and about an hour later, emergency vehicles arrived to care for our new friend, Basan.
Basan told us that his rig overheated (250 degrees) and as he pulled over to cool it off, it just went up in flames. He managed to get his wallet, his cell phone and a fire extinguisher out to battle the cab fire. He expended the fire extinguisher but couldn't control the flames. Meanwhile, the cab, and 8 of the tires completely burned to the ground leaving only the engine block on the road. I've never seen anything like it in my life, and to think a truck can completely burn to the ground in under an hour! Each time a tire burned it would blow-up and plumes of black smoke & red-hot flames would jump out and burn again. A fire had now begun to spread to the grass along the road and run down the hill. We had a several acre fire now to deal with.
Basan was very grateful to be alive and that someone stayed with him until emergency help could arrive. He also shared that his family was the first thing he thought of (a wife, 2 daughters and a son) and that he wanted just to be with them in Portland. He said his rig was totally insured and wasn't worried at all about that at that time. Just grateful to be alive. We filed our report and I even exchanged information with Basan so if he needs anything, he can call us.
We were there and could help him, because we decided to leave early. Coincidence? Perhaps. But we believe that some things just happen for reasons beyond our understanding at the time. We believe that sometimes, challenges or opportunities come our way because WE need to grow. WE need to give and become more than we are. WE need to help others. This was probably one of those occasions for us.
He must have, and still, felt good.
Every memory back to that day will bring him at least a slight smile, knowing some angels came to help him :)
Thanks for the story and god bless you and basan and both's families.