Truck driver who crashed after having heart attack on I-15 thanks those who saved his life

Local News

MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 News) – An Illinois truck driver spent the day Monday thanking those responsible for helping to save his life after he suffered a heart attack and crashed while driving down I-15 in South Salt Lake.

According to a press release, John Lindsey, 72, was driving on the I-15 on-ramp in South Salt Lake on May 2nd when he suffered a heart attack and his truck crashed into the barrier at about 50 mph. 

One of the first people on the scene, Intermountain TOSH sports trainer Josh Letizia, was driving behind the semi when the crash happened.

“I noticed he was staring forward and wasn’t breathing quite right so that’s when I realized something was wrong,” said Letizia.

Letizia said Lindsey had stopped breathing and did not have a pulse, so he and another bystander got him out of the truck, and they began performing CPR.

Just then Provo City Police Department officers Ken and Robyn Newell pulled up and began helping with chest compressions. Dash cam footage of the incident was also released.

Paramedics and firefighters from South Salt Lake Fire Department arrived on scene and continued chest compressions while rushing Lindsey to the trauma center at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.

A dozen caregivers at the hospital worked quickly to shock Lindsey’s heart back into rhythm and stabilize him. 

Edward Miner, MD, an interventional cardiologist who was one of Lindsey’s doctors says cases like this prove why doing chest compressions is vital to someone’s chance of surviving.

“CPR is so important during a cardiac arrest because it keeps blood and oxygen flowing through the body and most importantly to the brain and heart,” said Dr. Miner. “I have no doubt their efforts helped save his life.”

After undergoing quintuple bypass surgery at the Intermountain Heart Institute, Lindsey was released from the hospital on May 13.

Before heading home, he and his fiancé Grett Williams wanted a chance to say thank you to all those who helped save Lindsey’s life.

“Since he’s a truck driver this could have so easily happened in the middle of nowhere and he would have been in trouble,” said Williams. “The fact those people were in the right place at the right time is just a miracle and I couldn’t be more thankful.”

Once Lindsey is cleared during a follow-up visit later this week, he and his fiancé will travel back home to Illinois where he will continue his recovery.

Additionally, this week is National EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Appreciation Week, in which first responders from throughout the Salt Lake Valley are taking part in lunches and other events at local hospitals. It’s a small way to thank those who bring life-saving services to the community.

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