Tuesday, August 26, 2008

BZ John Melson!

Humble guardsman recalls life-saving heroics
By Mike Underwood Tuesday, August 26, 2008

National Guardsman John Melson was praised by medics for saving motorcyclist Mark Cronin’s life after his leg was torn off in a horrific wreck with an alleged drunken driver.

Here, the modest 37-year-old gives his harrowing account of the crash scene and the lifesaving steps he took, as told to Mike Underwood.

“I was at the intersection at Neponset Circle on my motorcycle. I was coming up to traffic and I saw a bike go up over the (Neponset) bridge. I knew something was wrong.

“I made my way through the traffic, I must have been about two minutes behind him.

“I went to come up over the bridge and saw headlights coming toward me. As I got closer I realized it was a vehicle that had stopped on the wrong side of the road.

“The front end had been smashed in and the airbag had been deployed. I saw a woman standing there and I slowed down to see if she was OK. I then saw this bike on the road in pieces and saw this guy lying on the ground.

“There were about four or five people around him. One woman had a blanket on his leg. They were waving for help.

“I pulled over and ran over to him. I told him to keep talking and asked him his name. He said his name was Mark. I looked to the woman who was holding the towel or blanket on his left thigh.

“He kept asking me to save his leg, that his leg hurt. I asked the woman if there was anything under the blanket and she just shook her head.

“I went to take my belt off to make a tourniquet and noticed he was wearing a belt. So I pulled his belt off and tied it around his left thigh, about four or five inches down.

“I just kept talking to him to stop him slipping away. I must have been holding the tourniquet for about 10 minutes when the EMS guys showed up. I didn’t want to let go until they arrived. I gave them a run down on what I had done and then they took control of the situation.

“His leg was cut off just above the knee. I knew what to do. To treat such a traumatic injury was like second nature to me because I have had to do them for soldiers.

“I’m just glad he is OK. I remember he kept asking me to save his leg.

“The woman from the car, I don’t think she had any idea of how serious it was.

“She was standing right there with a big smile on her face when the police were putting her in the cruiser.

“I had watched her do the field sobriety test and she failed it. I’m sure her life has been turned upside down as well.”

Quick-thinking Iraqi veteran saves life of Quincy cyclist
By Sue Scheible
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Aug 26, 2008 @ 08:38 AM

The wife of a Quincy man whose life was saved early Saturday by a quick thinking passerby on the Neponset River Bridge finally got her chance late Monday to talk to him and say thank you.

Caroline Cronin, the wife of Mark Cronin, 41, who lost his leg in an accident allegedly caused by a drunk driver, called John Melson, 37, an Iraq War veteran who returns to his fifth tour of duty there in two weeks.

Melson grabbed her husband’s belt and applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding after his leg was sheared off in the collision.

Police have charged a Quincy woman with drunk driving in the accident. Cronin, a laborer, was riding a motorcycle across the bridge when her car, going the wrong way, crashed into him.

Mary Sullivan of Quincy, Caroline Cronin’s mother, said that when Melson stopped at the scene, there was blood all over, Cronin’s leg was missing, and he would have bled to death within minutes.

“That young man pulled away the blanket that others had placed over the injured leg and made the tourniquet,” Sullivan said. “Caroline told him that his actions were the only thing that saved Mark’s life.”

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