Saturday, February 24, 2018

Man who survived 11 crashes helps trapped accident victim

Jamie Loubon survived the crash but lost an arm.

JUST keep him alive.

Those were the words that echoed in Kevin Laudat's head as he spoke words of encouragement and comfort which kept crash victim Jamie Loubon conscious while he was trapped in a vehicle in Moruga on Monday night.

With Loubon bleeding heavily from his right arm mangled in the wreckage, Laudat talked him through for over half an hour before medical help arrived.

Social media users have called Laudat a “hero” for an act of his selflessness, which may have helped Loubon survive.

Loubon, 28, of Penal Rock Road, was driving a vehicle carrying his wife and three children when a Trinidad and Tobago Regiment vehicle crashed into them.

Graphic video of the crash on social media showed a bone in Loubon's right arm protruding, while people attempted to assist him before paramedics arrived.

Loubon's children - aged ten months, two and four – were all hurt in the crash. The ten month old suffered a broken arm.

They are in stable condition at hospital.

Loubon's wife, Cassie Funrose, received minor injuries and was discharged.

Five soldiers who were in the vehicle, were also treated and discharged from hospital.

The crash occurred at around 8.20 p.m. at Bois Jean Jean Road.

A Toyota Landcruiser driven by a 27 year old private of Point Fortin attempted to avoid a collision but instead hit Loubon's Nissan B13.

The regiment's vehicle overturned several times and crashed into a wall.

Laudat, 27, said that he drew from his experience of 11 traffic crashes on how to handle emergency situations.

Laudat said that he and his wife, Danika, were headed home when they encountered the crash.

He said he immediately went up to the vehicle and saw Loubon trapped behind the driver's seat, bleeding from a wound to his arm.

“Somebody tied a piece of cloth to stop the flow of the blood. There were a lot of people around the car. Everyone was trying to do something to help”, he said.

Laudat said that his experience with traffic collisions “just clicked”.

“I said all this man needs to do is to keep talking, open his eyes and stay alive until better could be done”, he said. “There was a lot of noise around but all I could hear was 'just keep him alive'. I held his head up because I didn't know what damage his neck was in and I started talking to him”.

Laudat said he knew Loubon from his community, as they went to same school and later played football together.

“All the memories about me and him I just brought it back. I wanted him to respond so I spoke about things he knew. He fainted when he first saw his hand, so I told him to 'watch me'. I took the light off his face and shined it on my face so he could see me. I told him to keep talking to me, just keep talking to me”, he said.

Laudat, who is a father of two, said he talked to Loubon about his family and his children.

“He was responding to every single question, so I knew he was alert as to what he was going on. I squeezed his hand and I said the 'Our Father' prayer with him. I told him he had to make it for his family, it was not about you or me”, he said.

When paramedics arrived they placed Loubon's neck in a brace. Laudat and others assisted in freeing Loubon from the vehicle and paramedics strapped Loubon's hand. He was taken in an ambulance to the Princes Town District Health Facility.

At hospital, Loubon's right arm was amputated under his elbow.

He is warded in stable condition at hospital.

Laudat said his two of his wife's fingers were partially sliced off during an incident at work on Saturday, and she received help from the neighbourhood.

“I was just doing something which I wanted people to do for my family, just like those people who helped my wife. I just wanted to help”, he said.