Something remarkable happened Monday afternoon at the corner of Hall of Fame Avenue and Knoblock Street. The driver of a dump truck headed east on Hall of Fame lost consciousness due to a medical condition, slowly traveled more than two blocks, hit two vehicles, drove through the outdoor turf at the Sherman E. Smith Training Facility and finally came to rest against a traffic control box.
In the seconds before the control box stopped the truck, the driver’s foot landed on the gas pedal. Smoke poured from the spinning tires.
In the conference room in Gallagher-Iba Arena, the commotion caught the attention of several members of the athletic staff in a meeting. Kyle Waters, senior athletic director of facilities and operations and a Stillwater native, headed downstairs.
“When the tires were still spinning, I knew there was someone in the truck,” he said. “I waited for the tires to blow out from the heat.”
Flames pouring from the tires lit up the truck, and Waters could see the unconscious driver. He grabbed a landscape brick from a retaining wall, broke the driver’s window and popped the door open. The shattering of the glass woke the driver.
“He didn’t know where he was,” Waters said. “He asked if we hit the winning shot.”
Waters doesn’t care for being called “heroic.” He was just a good guy doing something anyone who grew up in Stillwater would do. His best friend suffered a heart attack while driving in a neighborhood near Houston last year. A passerby saved his life.
“That’s what I was thinking when I noticed someone was in the car,” Waters said. “A passerby saved his life with CPR, so I will always try to lend a hand when I can.”
OSU Police Chief Leon Jones presented Waters with a commendation Tuesday. The accident report states Waters possibly saved the driver from serious injury or death.
“After witnessing the accident and seeing flames erupt from the truck, Kyle Waters, without fear for his own safety, removed the driver from the truck and to safety until LifeNet arrived to render aid,” Jones said. “Kyle is a true member of our community and deserves recognition for helping a person in need without regard for his own safety. He is one of the reasons why Oklahoma State University and Stillwater is one of the greatest communities to live in.”