I had a bad experience on that I-55 bridge pre cell phone about thirty years ago.
I was east bound dead center in the middle of the Mississippi when I came upon a horrible multi car truck accident. One victim was laying in front of a demolished U-Haul with a sheet over him.
I parked and used my ham radio to call for emergency services and reported it as the scene of a fatal accident. Since it went through the repeater system with other hams assisting there was confusion as to whether Memphis or West Memphis should respond. I hate accidents that occur on political boundaries!
Meanwhile I went back to the victim and asked the other injured if they were sure he was dead.
When I uncovered him to check it was ghastly with one eye missing, but there was blood pumping out of the empty eye socket like a little vertical red fountain, not the sign of a lifeless crash victim.
I quickly wadded up the sheet and made a compress and oredered the others hold it in place until I got back. I also used some blankets and more sheets from the wrecked U Haul to cover his body to keep him as warm as possible until I could think of what else to do for probable shock.
I had to run back as the 2 meter radio was one of those bolted down not a handheld. I made contact again and made it clear an expedited response was required as one victim was clearly critical and there were many walking wounded.
TN and AR sent eighteen pieces of fire and rescue equipment and ambulances from both directions, I counted them before I left.
Medics once on scene worked ferociously to stabilize the critical survivor but they lost him.
If I had been there a few minutes earlier he may have lived.
If he had not lost so much blood with proper first aid he may have lived. He had life altering wounds but he could have lived.
I was so disturbed I could not talk to anyone, I felt like crying.
The other lasting impression from that event, that was one scuzzy river bridge with different types of construction making it up depending on which side you were on.
The other was how brain dead TN emergency personal had to be to send rescue units west bound across a long split lane river bridge when they all needed to come from AR east bound to be of any immediate help.
Modern cell phones could have saved these accident survivors as any properly trained 911 operator could have issued instructions before any one else arrived to assist the victims.
On Feb 23, 2012, at 7:34 PM, Lin Kerns wrote: