A man involved in a motorcycle crash in Colorado Springs is recovering, and for the first time Wednesday had a chance to thank one of the complete strangers who stopped to help him.
It wasn’t the first time SPC Joseph Schmidt saw Dennis Smith, although it was the first time they shook hands.
“He was unconscious when we showed up,” Schmidt said. “He was having trouble breathing.”
Dennis was seriously hurt May 16 while riding his motorcycle on Highway 115 on the southwest side of the Springs. A van turned in front of him at Star Ranch Road, causing Dennis to crash into it. Dennis was thrown from his motorcycle, leaving him with no memory of the ordeal.
"I was traveling southbound, and then I was traveling in a hospital bed,” Dennis said. “That's about how fast it was."
Schmidt was one of the first on scene, applying combat training to what unfolded in front of him.
"Those skills we use down range are just as good here to save a life," Schmidt said.
Two other people at the crash site helped stabilize Dennis as Schmidt kept traffic out of the intersection. Nearly a week after the wreck Dennis, a father of four, is getting better.
"I was very glad to be the mommy that got to go home and tell them their daddy was going to be okay," said Dennis’ wife Kristin.
Dennis is on the mend, and grateful for a helping hand when he needed it the most.
“It's guys like you who impact the world and make it a better place,” he told Schmidt.
Like Schmidt, Smith has also served in the military. He is nursing a broken rib and collapsed lung, but looks forward to getting back to work as a deputy for the Park County Sheriff's Office.
Schmidt has been recommended to receive an award from commanders for his actions.