Motorist saves man stumbling through cold on Ind. 45/46 Bypass

This article printed in the Herald-Times last Friday. Samantha is an Ivy Tech-Bloomington student.

The Herald-Times
Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013 12:49 am | Updated: 1:08 am, Fri Dec 13, 2013.
By Abby Tonsing 331-4245 | atonsing@heraldt.com | 21 comments

Driving home from work about 1 a.m. Thursday, Samantha Valkyrie turned the heat up in her car.

When her eyes returned to the road, she saw an elderly man fall down in the median of Ind. 45/46 just north of 10th and the Bypass.

He wore a button up shirt, slacks and dress socks. He wasn’t wearing a coat or shoes.

When she stopped to help, the man couldn’t tell Valkyrie his name, age, address or phone number. He had no idea where he was.

He kept trying to stand, only to fall into the snow-covered median again.  He started falling in the road.

The 78-year-old man was taken by ambulance to IU Health Bloomington Hospital, where he was treated for exposure to frigid temperatures and cuts to his forehead. He was listed in fair condition Thursday afternoon.

As Valkyrie, a nursing student at Ivy Tech and house manager for Stone Belt, assessed the situation and called 911, a security officer also stopped to help.

The security officer put his coat on the man and Valkyrie got an extra coat out of her car to cover the man’s legs as they waited for police and an ambulance.

The 78-year-old man told Bloomington police he might have been driving earlier and thought he may have been the only one in the car. He had told Valkyrie his car had blown up and he couldn’t remember where it was.

Officers found the man’s driver’s license and went to his apartment in the 300 block of North Pete Ellis Drive. At the apartment complex, they found his unoccupied 2004 Ford Taurus. The car had gone over an embankment, was stuck in the snow and had been left running.

The man also told police he had no idea how long he had been outside, Sgt. Cody Forston said.

Valkyrie, who is expecting her second child in May, didn’t think twice about stopping to help the man in Thursday morning’s extreme cold. She doesn’t think of herself as a hero.

“I just think it’s important to assist people who look like they’re troubled or in trouble,” she said.

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