Andrew Busch was riding his motorcycle near downtown Omaha, Neb., on the afternoon of May 18, when he was involved in a collision with a vehicle and found himself pinned beneath the car.
The confused driver of the vehicle stopped and got out at the intersection of North 24 and Cuming streets, and asked a passerby named Sean Graham what had happened to the motorcyclist.
“She was like, 'Where is he?' I was looking around the ground. I was like, 'Yeah, where is he?' Then I kind of cocked my head up under the car, I was like, ‘He's up under the car!’” Graham told Yahoo News on Tuesday.
The pair, along with a few others, unsuccessfully tried to lift the car to free Busch.
Dashcam footage captures rescue
More witnesses waved down two police officers in a squad car, who pulled over, their dashcam positioned directly at the attempted rescue.
“I don't think there was a 911 call made at that time, and we just responded — basically, them flagging us down. And that's when we noticed the victim and everybody took action,” Lt. Timothy Owens, one of the officers from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, told Yahoo News on Monday.
On the dashcam footage, a deputy is seen helping lift the car as Owens helps free a badly injured Busch.
“I think people knew the gravity of the situation that this person really needed help. And people, on a moment's notice, they knew what needed to be done. No one said anything,” Owens said.
The Omaha Police Department is still investigating the cause of the crash. Busch was admitted to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in critical condition, according to Lorinda Dods, Busch’s sister, but his condition has since improved.
“He's no longer in the ICU, which is good,” Dods said Tuesday. “He's down to one chest tube instead of two and started physical therapy yesterday, which is, of course, ever so much fun to think about when your body is wracked with pain. But, he's managing the pain OK, I think.”
Family of riders
The eldest of seven siblings, Dods said all three of her brothers ride motorcycles. After Busch’s accident, she learned that Graham, too, owns one.
“Sean's a biker, and he knew exactly what to be looking for,” she said. “It's just, I mean, how much more can you say, except 'Thank you,' and every biker knows that at any given time, that could be them.”
Owens said that police attempted to talk to all the people who helped rescue Bush, “to thank them and get their names, but they just went on [with] their day.”
Graham, 52, is a U.S. Army veteran who moved to Omaha in 2017. After his heroic act, the sheriff’s office posted a Facebook message to try to find him and the other good Samaritans. Graham, however, doesn’t consider himself a hero.
“I'm not looking for anything. I don't want to be called a hero. I just, I would just want somebody to do the same thing for me. I just wish [Andrew] a speedy recovery … and it kind of makes you think about life, and in different eyes, because tomorrow [is] not promised to you. I've always lived by ‘You give people your roses right now,’ he said, adding, “I kiss my wife every day when she’s walking out the door and kiss her when she comes through the door.”
'All the credit in the world'
The sheriff’s office was eventually able to locate several of the good Samaritans, like Graham, through the Facebook posting.
“They deserve all the credit in the world. Everybody coming together, helping this one person out,” Owens said.
“We are very grateful and, if we could, we would give each one of them a really big hug and [let them know] that it's still not enough thanks for what they did that day. And that each one of them were placed there specifically by God for this reason, and we are very grateful,” Dods said. “We can't seem to find any other words than that.”