It wasn’t a matter of if Tammy Stavricos was going to help. It was only a matter of how she would help after an SUV went over an embankment Friday and into an Irving creek.
Stavricos was one of two good Samaritans who stopped to help in the moments after the crash along eastbound Highway 114, between Belt Line Road and the President George Bush Turnpike.
“I jumped out, called 911 and I went down to help,” Stavricos, a commercial truck driver, said Friday night.
The crash happened as a steady dose of rain fell shortly after 2 p.m.
Four people — three adults and one child — were inside the SUV when it landed upside down in the creek, according to Officer James McLellan, spokesperson for the Irving Police Department.
The driver and her young son were able to get free from the vehicle before Stavricos made it down to them.
“[The mother] was crying, saying there was more people trapped in the car,” Stavricos said. “She needed help.”
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Stavricos went around to the other side of the vehicle, now half-submerged in the creek, and realized one of the two remaining passengers had also managed to free herself.
But the final passenger was struggling to escape, and had suffered a serious head injury, Stavricos said.
“I just know that the wound looked really bad, deep,” Stavricos said. “I kept talking to her and I kept saying, ‘You gotta stay awake. I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to go to sleep right now.’”
Stavricos assumed that the woman may have been drifting in and out of consciousness, and she whispered a prayer in the woman’s ear and she held her head above the water.
“All I had to do was just hold her up a little bit,” Stavricos said. “Isn’t that what we’re all supposed to do – hold each other up?”
Paramedics transported that woman to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas for treatment of her injuries, according to Officer McLellan. Neither the woman’s name nor her condition have been released.
Stavricos credits her strong Christian faith for compelling her to take action.
“My lord Jesus Christ would expect me to try to preserve human life. That’s what he wants me to do,” Stavricos said. “I feel like anyone would do that, really, if they had that opportunity to help.”
NBC 5's Holley Ford contributed to this report.