The quick actions of a 25-year-old Omaha man may have saved the lives of the two victims involved in a terrible crash along I-80 west and the I-480 northbound on-ramp Saturday afternoon.
Geoffrey Bennett was driving home from work when he noticed many cars stopped on the ramp. He says his car was sliding due to the snow so assumed there may have been a small fender bender.
"I drove past some of the cars to kind of see what happened and that's when I saw someone was yelling, waving their arms, next to one of the cars just asking for help," says Bennett.
Bennett then pulled over and quickly assessed the situation. He says he was drawn to a man and woman on the ground - 32-year-old Hesbeidy Rodriguez and 28-year-old Miguel Ramirez.
He says he he didn't realize how bad the accident was until he heard Ramirez and Rodriguez screaming in Spanish.
"I didn't know how they got there, I didn't know what they were doing there - I thought maybe they were thrown. I didn't know what was going on. I saw some kids in the car so once I saw the kids were okay, I went back to the man and woman," says Bennett.
"I started by just grabbing both of their hands, and they wouldn't really have a conversation with me because of the shock and what not. But they both just kept yelling things in Spanish. The two things they both kept saying were, 'Ayudame! Ayudame!' and he kept saying, 'Soy frio, soy frio!' I know a little bit of Spanish so I know he was saying he's very cold and she was just asking for help," adds Bennett.
That's when Bennett noticed Rodriguez's leg was detached from her body. With no materials other than the clothes on his back, he took his belt off and fastened it onto her leg to stop the bleeding.
"I saw her leg and - it was just, crazy. I knew we had to stop the blood and I was thinking of what I had on me without having to go back to my vehicle and so I took I took my belt off and wrapped it right above her knee to stop the bleeding."
Bennett says he was holding Rodriguez's leg with one arm, while Ramirez used both hands to squeeze his other hand.
Not knowing Ramirez had also lost limbs, Rodriguez's husband told Bennett to focus on Ramirez who lost both of his legs.
"He said, 'he's real bad, he's real bad!' So I stood up a little bit and looked over there and pushed the bumper out of the way to realize that both of his legs were mangled and that's when I decided to get up and stop helping her and went around to start helping him."
Despite the language barrier, Bennett says he used body language to communicate with those around him.
"I realized, okay, there’s now three legs I have to worry about now."
He told Ulises Heredia Sanchez, Rodriguez's husband to take off his belt. He then lifted up Ramirez and fastened the belt around one of his legs. Heredia Sanchez then handed him a cell phone and told him to tell 911 where exactly to go.
Bennett says Ramirez kept saying he was cold, so Bennett put his jacket over Ramirez and placed his beanie under Ramirez's head, which was now soaking wet with melting snow. Bennett then went around asking surrounding cars for blankets or coats - anything to keep Rodriguez and Ramirez warm.
Bennett says a trauma nurse happened to walk up and offered her belt for Ramirez's other leg.
"It all happened so fast. I didn't have time to think. It's all the military training. Like we kinda learn what to do in situations like that. I was taught to not think - but react," says Bennett, who has been in the National Guard for five years.
Rodriguez and Ramirez were transferred to Nebraska Medicine. As of Wednesday night, Ramirez is in serious condition while Rodriguez is in fair condition.