In this uncertain new world of social distancing, one Metropolis teenager did not keep his distance and acted quickly when he saw an injured woman, laying in the middle the street on March 19.

According to preliminary information from Illinois State Police (ISP), a 2003 Volvo 3-axle truck, driven by Dale W. Howard, 55, of Melber, Kentucky, was heading southbound on Ferry Street, turning left onto East Fifth Street. Just after the truck completed its turn, Howard realized he had struck a pedestrian, identified as Betty J. Varnum, 86, of Metropolis

Tyler Anderson, a 2019 graduate of Massac County High School, was on his way to the bank when he saw Varnum in the street, with a pool of blood next to her head, coming from her right ear.

Anderson stopped his vehicle to provide medical aid. When he got to Varnum’s side, she was unresponsive. He took off his shirt, put it under her head and started

Anderson, who has been in the Illinois National Guard since the age of 17, had finished with his basic training last September. As an infantryman, he had some medical classes and when he got out of his car to help, “I was thinking really fast,” he said.

According to Anderson, he was pinching her in different spots, asking her if she could feel it and she responded. “I asked her what her name was and she told me, Betty Varnum,” said Anderson, noting at one point she said, ‘Man I really bumped my head.’

“I was hoping I did the right things,” said Anderson.

One of the first emergency personnel on the scene was Metropolis-Massac 911 Director Keith Davis, followed moments later by Metropolis Fire and Police departments, along with Massac County EMS personnel and ISP.

Varnum was transported by ambulance to a regional hospital with serious injuries.

According to ISP, after the on-scene crash investigation was completed at 1:35 p.m., all lanes of traffic were reopened for normal flow.

ISP states there are no charges pending.

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