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Vancouver man saves driver along Interstate 5

Tim Bias was driving near Salem this weekend when he spotted another driver unconscious in the middle of traffic and rushed to help.

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A driver is alive thanks to the quick-thinking actions of a Vancouver man.

Tim Bias was driving near Salem last weekend when he spotted another driver unconscious in the middle of traffic and rushed to help.

Bias was traveling home on I-5 after vacationing with friends in Southwest Oregon on Sunday when he hit a slowdown.

“All the sudden, the traffic comes to a screeching halt. I’m like, ‘I just want to get home, I’m hungry,’” said Bias.

His feeling of annoyance would quickly turn to concern, though. Bias noticed cars ahead of him pulling off to the side of the freeway. “I look up, and there’s a white Ram truck that looks just like mine. And it’s rolling backwards at me. And I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” he said.

Bias too pulled over. At that point, he glanced over at the driver in the white pickup and saw an older man who was unconscious.

“It just kicked in. I jumped out of my truck,” said Bias. As that happened, the man’s truck rolled into another car that had slowed down. Bias was then able to pull the driver from the car. Luckily, he says, the man’s doors were unlocked.

“I looked at him, he was still not moving,” said Bias. “I yelled at him, ‘Sir, sir!’ I shook him and tried to get a response. And that’s when I put my hand on his heart and there was no heartbeat.”

As that happened, another driver who was an off duty nurse stopped to help out. The woman started performing CPR as Bias stood by. It would be eight minutes before an ambulance would arrive.

“As I knew, he was gone,” said Bias, reliving the moment.

Fortunately, Bias would be wrong. After the man was taken away by paramedics, Bias asked an Oregon State Police trooper on scene to follow up on the man’s condition and give Bias a call. A day later, Bias got one of the best calls he’s received in some time. “The officer said: Tim, if it wasn’t for you, this guy wouldn’t be alive,” he said.

“Every time I say it, it just gets me,” said Bias, fighting back tears. “I think there was a reason for this all happening this way. Because I don’t think he’d be here right now.”

Bias notes that he had stopped for gas before the incident, and wonders what might have happened if the timing would have been different.

At last check, Bias says the OSP trooper told him that the man was still in intensive care. An OSP incident report listed the man as being transported and treated at Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis. Hospital staff there weren’t able to immediately provide the man’s condition.

Bias says he now hopes to meet the family of the man he saved.

“I just did what I felt was right. And it means so much that he is alive,” he said.

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