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Coach’s Quick Move Has Umpire Calling Driver Safe

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Arlington Little League fields at the MLK Sports Center were packed with people last Saturday as teams played, or waited to play, on every field. That’s when the unexpected happened.

“I was suited up in full umpire gear about to walk onto the field to call a game when I was alerted to a medical emergency here in the parking lot,” said Steve Williams.

“I was coming back from under that pavilion area just walking over here when the little kid ran up to me,” said Hazem Saleh, a coach who also is one of many people in the league organization who has some medical training. “He said, ‘We need a medic in the parking lot there’s been a bad wreck’.”

A truck had hit one car and crashed into a trailer. It was still running. The driver was having a seizure.

“I’m running up and I see a lady from a distance hit this window with a lawn chair,” Saleh recalled as he pointed to the rear, passenger window of a crew cab pick-up window to demonstrate. “Now she’s trying to hit this window. So when I clear her out of the way I hit the window left-handed. And it broke it, but it still stayed intact. And then I got a bat from somebody and swung one time two handed to break the window, then i climbed up on the rail, reached up to unlock the door, climb into car and I can then see the man hunched over the center console toward the passenger seat. (I) climb into the truck…put the truck in park and take the keys out so when can get him out.”

By this time Williams, who is also an Arlington Police officer, had arrived on the scene.

“We moved him over to the grass area,” Williams said. “At that point I coordinated emergency first responders, F.D., P.D. and EMS to arrive.”

It was minutes later friends pointed out the condition of Saleh’s hand to him. Cut and bleeding, his hand was broken.  He hadn’t noticed in his rush to help the driver.

The Arlington City Council will honor Saleh for his actions during their meeting next week.

“For him to punch through the window and rescue the individual speaks a lot about his character,” Williams said.

Saleh insisted it was a group effort thanks to the league’s prior planning to provide trained ‘First Responders’ during baseball games.

“All I did was get the notoriety for punching out the window,” laughed Saleh looking at his heavily bandaged hand. “Which wasn’t the best laid out plan!”

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