On Sunday afternoon, drivers on the interstate near Georgia State University’s football stadium were witnesses to an unusual sight.
A white truck was stopped on the interstate, and people were getting out of their cars and using strollers, mallets and other items to try to break the windows.
When a video of the incident was posted online, people immediately began to posit a fight had broken out on the road — but the truth was much different.
Juordin Carter is the one who recorded the odd sight, and said she first noticed it when she drove past the white truck. At the time, the truck was still moving slowly.
“I looked over to the right and I saw an older guy driving his car but he was leant over,” she told WXIA-TV. “So he had passed out.”
A group of would-be rescuers also noticed the man, who police later said “appeared to be suffering medical distress,” and after getting the vehicle to stop, they got anything they had on hand to try to break into the cab and reach the driver.
“I was focused, no panicking,” good Samaritan Jelani Kimble told WGCL-TV. “When we first arrived it was still moving, so that was the main priority, stop the vehicle.”
Finally, a woman was able to break out the back pane of glass, and Kimble took over, clearing the broken glass to make a gap wide enough to crawl in.
“I immediately got on the truck, started kicking the rest of the windshield down, that is when I slid in and unlocked the door,” Kimble told WXIA.
Carter stayed with the driver and tried to keep him alert by asking him questions while Kimble used the driver’s phone to call his wife.
“I was just trying to keep him here with me in this moment,” Carter said, noting the man was fading in and out of consciousness.
“I stayed right there and let her know everything that’s going on, which hospital, and to follow up and let us know,” Kimble added.
Pastor Qua Tucker of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church was also on the scene. He spotted the commotion as he was headed out to lunch.
Initially, he ran alongside the moving truck and tried to break out the side windows, still wearing his church clothes. He prayed as others joined in, and found the community response heartwarming.
“Felt good to see people, who, strangers rather, regardless of race, sexuality, poli — you know, politics, political views or whatnot to come together to help someone else,” he said.
“We just thank God for that. That was our prayer in the moment, that hey God, let’s please make sure this man is okay.”
Davian Taylor, associate minister for Welcome Friend Baptist Church and friend to Tucker, called 911 as others personally assisted the driver — but the scene was so chaotic he had a hard time communicating with the operator.
“Because the operator was getting frustrated with me as I was panicking because you know we’re on the highway with all of this traffic coming,” Taylor explained. “And, and you know … it, it was just a crazy scene.”
While viewers may have misinterpreted the sight, Carter says the real reason behind the video is evidence that there is still kindness in the world.
“There’s still, you know, good things out there that can happen even though they tried to portray it as something that wasn’t what it was,” Carter said.
The driver was taken to the hospital, and according to what witnesses told WXIA, his wife let them know Monday he was doing better.
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