An off-duty nurse called a hero | News

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An off-duty nurse called a hero

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Two sisters remain in the hospital after being struck by a car Sunday evening. An off-duty nurse is being called the hero after coming to the aid of the women. Bonnie Martin did not hesitate to pull over and assist the women.

Bonnie Martin recalled the moments before it happened, "I knew it was going to happen and it was just awful...I saw one woman go off to the right and I did not see the other woman. I knew right then that we had a very traumatic situation"

The two women 62-year old Sandra Samuel and 66-year old Carole Day were crossing Hogan Road in Bangor when they were stuck by the vehicle. Samuel was lying in front of the van, Martin said her face was less than a "fingers width" from the tire.

Martin said, "She was breathing. I saw her belly move. Yes, I can help out, but to be literally first on-scene and make the decisions of what needs to happen next it's very intimidating, very scary, and very horrific. You literally make a difference in that split second and it literally is seconds."

Without any of her tools or co-workers Martin worked with only her bare hands and a simple first aid kit. She realized the woman's airway was blocked.

"I recognized that her dentures were loose, I reached in with my bare hand and I removed them. Upon doing that I reached in with my fingers and cleared her airway. I can honestly say in my professional career she would not have survived," said Martin.

The off-duty nurse denies doing anything extraordinary.

"I'm a nurse, I'm a registered nurse...and you step in when you need to..whether you're on duty or off duty and I feel like that's what I did. So hero, I don't know. I feel very different in that moment that I made a difference," explained Martin.

The two victims were taken to the hospital for treatment. It was at that point Martin's attention turned to the driver of the van.

"He was a veteran who was going to Applebee's for a Veteran's Day meal with family and friends...and he was to be honored," said Martin.

The driver, 83-year old Martin Willis of Brewer, told police he never saw the women.

"I get emotional because it was a veteran he was in shock, emotionally. He just couldn't believe what happened," said Martin.

Martin said she hopes the veteran is receiving the support he needs. Another example of how she puts others before herself, a trait she thinks is in everyone.

"I've always said all along ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they just step forward and get involved," said Martin.

Both women are being treated at Eastern Maine Medical Center. Sandra Samuel remains in critical condition, but doctors say without the quick action of Bonnie Martin she would not have been so lucky. Her sister, Carole Day is in fair condition.

At this time, police will not be pressing charges against the driver.