Schriever member's action saved deputy's life
By Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 23, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. --
(Editor's note: Some of the contents of this article may be disturbing)
"How do you thank someone who saved your life?"
This was a question Andrew Fodera, El Paso County sheriff's deputy, pondered. Do you just say thank you? Are words enough? Or are actions required to show your appreciation?
It was more than a month ago on the dark, early morning of March 3. Fodera was on his way to work riding his motorcycle on Interstate 25 in Colorado Springs, Colo., when he hit gravel that sent him off the highway. When he tried to re-enter the highway, however, his front wheel pinned to the right and ejected him over the handle bars. The motorcycle ended up in the right lane while Fodera was in the left.
Meanwhile, Dr. Armand Boudreau, Missile Defense Agency cyber security engineer, was driving on his way to his ski patrol volunteer duty when he saw a motorcycle lying in the right hand lane. Immediately, he knew something was wrong, pulled his car over and checked his rear-view mirror.
He saw Fodera.
"I tried to get up and run off but I fell back down," Fodera said.
He fell on the passing lane of I-25.
"Oh no, this is not good," the retired lieutenant colonel thought.
He got out of his car and started running toward Fedora. But before he could reach him, a car ran over Fedora's leg. Boudreau heard a horrible scream. To make matters worse, the car didn't stop. As Boudreau reached Fodera across the highway, another car was headed for them.
Imagine for a second an object weighing approximately 4,000 pounds hurling toward you at 65 mph. What would you do? Would you avoid it?
"I yelled and screamed, jumped up and down, and the car swerved around us," he said.
Afterwards, Boudreau grabbed Fodera and dragged him 15 feet off the highway. Fortunately as a ski patroller, he is trained to perform outdoor emergency care. Basically, he rescues peopl. He checked Fodera's airway, breathing, circulation and disorientation.
"When I checked him, he was banged up really bad," the West Warwick, R.I., native said. "He was mangled."
Boudreau asked an individual who stopped by to call 911 and another driver to grab his ski patrol vest and medical gear out of his car. While waiting for the emergency services, Boudreau stabilized Fodera's head and tried to calm him.
"Dr. Boudreau stayed with me for as long as he could," said Fodera. "He kept talking to me to keep me from going into shock."
When emergency services personnel arrived, Boudreau informed them what happened and Fodera's condition. He also helped them load Fedora on a helicopter.
As he went on to drive to his volunteer duties, it was then that Boudreau began to realize the danger of the situation.
"Holy crap, I could have been killed," he said. "I stood in front of that car and that car would have ran over me and the other individual. There would have been no doubt about it, we would have been dead."
So why did he do it?
"There was no question, I had to do it," he said. "I was trained to do it. You really don't know how you're going to react until you get into a situation like that. I had to help this guy. He would have been killed. There is no other choice."
People have called him hero, but, he doesn't consider himself one. He said it was fortunate that he was trained on how to properly perform shock management.
"Even if I didn't know how to do that, I would still have stopped to help anyway I can," Boudreau said. "You just have to do it. It's the right thing to do."
For that, Fodera couldn't express his gratitude.
"I really don't know how to express how grateful I am that Dr. Boudreau stopped to help a stranger," he said. "He literally saved my life."
Fodera is improving. He is moving around. His doctors said things look good and, hopefully, he will be back on his two feet soon.