Witness recounts good Samaritans' efforts to save motorcyclist in fiery crash

Published: Jul. 11, 2017 at 10:07 AM MDT
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A group of bystanders sprang to action after a motorcyclist made a hard collision into a truck at a busy northeast Springs intersection Tuesday morning.

The motorcyclist has been identified as Capt. Patrick S. Jones, 29, whose home of record is listed as California, entered active-duty military service in October 2010 as an infantry officer, and was assigned to 1st Space Brigade, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, Colorado Springs, since May 2016.

Some people who were near the Tutt and Dublin intersection raced to get fire extinguishers to put out the fully engulfed motorcycle, while others gathered around Jones and tried to save his life.

"I was here having coffee like I do normally during the week," said Gary Wensec, who witnessed the crash. "All of a sudden, one of the servers yelled, 'Motorcycle on fire!' and a couple of us ran out.

"The motorcycle was on fire. There were at least seven or eight people trying to give the victim some relief, CPR. They were actually there before the first responders. I was really impressed on how total strangers just stepped up and was trying to save this young man.

"There were a number of people with jackets, took their shirts off, they were trying to put the flames out."

Police confirm Jones died a short time after the collision. The other driver wasn't hurt.

The crash happened shortly before 8:30 a.m. Jones was heading west on Dublin Boulevard as an eastbound pickup truck started turning left onto Tutt Boulevard. The two collided in the intersection. Jones was wearing a helmet.

Wensec told 11 News he was devastated the rider didn't survive.

"It was a pretty horrific accident. ... I've seen several accidents, car accidents and bike accidents, in the past and this was pretty upsetting to me, to see something like that close up and personal.

"Everybody was just really focused, everybody was really focused on 'let's try to get some relief for him.' ... Everybody was trying to get in there and help, do the CPR. I mean, it's very exhausting ... one person would get tired and another person would come in and relieve them."

Jacob R. Saldua of Lubbock, Texas, was cited Wednesday for a Class A traffic infraction. He reportedly turned left in front of the motorcycle, which was speeding, police said. Neither drugs nor alcohol are considered factors in the crash.

Police say Tuesday's crash was the fourth traffic fatality involving a motorcycle this year.

Jones deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, returning in December 2011.

Jones’ awards and decorations include three Army Commendation Medals, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Overseas Service Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Defense Medal, Expert Infantryman Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Army Basic Space Badge.