WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Andover mom Jefri Cook was headed southbound on Rock Road near 13th with her daughter on the afternoon of July 26 when she watched a black SUV ride up on a curb, back down, and turn and cut off the box truck behind it.
She said the SUV was not accelerating but also not braking.
“The driver was kind of slumped over, like clearly, something was wrong,” Cook said.
Cook reports, the vehicle between hers and the black SUV was a United Way box truck. The truck driver exited the truck, put on his hazard lights and ran to the black SUV, jumping on the running boards and reaching in through the open window to help steer the SUV into a turn lane and out of oncoming traffic.
“He didn’t think twice,” Cook recalls.
Cook recognized the Good Samaritan from a presentation at her workplace. It was Mark Stump, director of community relations at the United Way.
Stump was picking something up from a business and needed to head back to the United Way downtown. He took a route that was out of the ordinary, calling the incident a case of “right place, right time.”
“I’ve got to be a believer in fate. God was guiding me that direction and needed me to be there. And I guess he figured I’m just crazy enough to act in this situation,” Stump recalls.
According to Stump, the driver was gray in color and slumped over in the front seat. Stump started beating on the driver’s chest and trying to cause enough commotion to wake him up or determine his medical needs. He estimates he rode on the SUV for about 100 feet as cars continued to drive past them.
“Fortunately when he woke up, he hit the brake opposed to the gas and so the vehicle stopped,” Stump recalls.
Stump tried to get the newly-awoken driver to comprehend what was happening, but the man was confused by Stump’s presence hanging out of his driver’s side door.
“He looked up at me and he said, ‘you need to get away from me, I have COVID,'” Stump said.
Undeterred, Stump told the man he needed to make sure he was okay first. Stump is fully-vaccinated but has monitored his own symptoms and worn a mask this week to protect others.
After a brief conversation, the man told Stump he lived a few blocks away and drove off.
Watching the encounter unfold was inspiring to Cook.
“Just to see that somebody stopped…that was a big deal. That was somebody that just stopped and cared about somebody else for a minute,” Cook said.