RAVENNA, Ohio (WJW) — Working the midnight shift from the Ravenna Ohio State Highway Patrol Post, Trooper Matthew Soeder remembers getting the call about a two-vehicle crash on April 22.
“The call came in, two car crash at the intersection down the road. Unknown injuries at the time,” Soeder said.
Soeder was told one of the vehicles was flipped over. When he arrived on the scene, he said he first tended to a victim who was having a seizure when he was told about another victim whose injuries were life threatening.
“I Immediately put on my gloves and got my tourniquet out, applied that tourniquet, made sure there was enough pressure on there. It was snug enough and then between myself and the other gentleman on scene, James made sure that the tourniquet stayed on,” said Soeder.
James Newman Sr., who had been out with his wife, was already there helping tend to Aiden Brattoli, a passenger in one of the two vehicles.
Soedor said the victim appeared to have already lost a foot.
“The wheels were still spinning on the van. It was on its side and I ran up to the car to make sure the people were OK and I saw Aiden half in the car, half out of the car, all over the sharp metal the glass,” said Newman.
A former scout master for a local Boy Scout troop, Newman said he went through numerous first aid and CPR training classes and even though he had not been involved with the troop since 2013, all of his training immediately kicked in.
“He kept coming in and out of consciousness and we just did what we had to do. I just did it. I don’t know, just something that happens. I mean, its just something told me to stop,” Newman said.
Brattoli’s parents say, since the crash, their son has endured numerous surgeries and blood transfusions.
“His scapula was shattered, two vertebrae were broken, his femur was broken in many places so they had to put a rod in his leg and then they had told us that they had to amputate below his knee,” said Koreen Brattoli, his mother.
His father, Steve Brattoli, says after every surgery, the family was told that the tourniquet which Trooper Soedor applied saved their son’s life.
On Tuesday, Soedor and Newman were honored for their efforts.
Soeder was awarded the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Distinguished Service Medallion Award and Newman was presented with the Certificate of Recognition Award.
The honors were bestowed by Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent, Colonel Charles Jones.
“Without you (Trooper Soeder) and without James, you both stepping up and working together as a team, we may not be having this moment and this recognition ceremony today,” said Jones.
Brattoli is now returning to school as a student at Kent State University.
“Every day he inspires us. I mean, everything that he does. He has taken all of these challenges that he has been dealt and he has come through incredibly,” said Koreen Brattoli. “There are no words. The appreciation that we have for them, it’s just incredible and usually I’m not at a loss for words but today the only thing I can say is thank you.”