Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

January 29, 2014

Fast acting yields Hollywood ending

A runaway pickup slams a fire hydrant, bashes a Dumpster and keeps rolling.

A motorist going the opposite direction whips around, follows till the truck crashes in a culvert, smashes the truck window with a boulder, drags out the unconscious driver and starts CPR as a nurse rolls up and the police arrive with a defibrillator.

Sounds like a movie, but it all happened along U.S. 377 in Benbrook on Nov. 12.  

Last weekend, the motorist, who’d  had a heart attack behind the wheel, was reunited with one of the fast-thinking stars of his real-life rescue, a Cresson volunteer firefighter.

“Usually I’m there after the fact,” said Danny Cook, 31. “We always get to the scene too late.”

This time was different. 

“I pretty much had my life saved by Danny Cook,” said Tim Grubb, 49, who subsequently had a quadruple bypass and returned to work. “I’m doing well. I’m doing remarkably well.”

Cook joined the volunteer fire department because he wanted a little excitement; he found it the day he was out running errands.

“I didn’t see anyone behind the wheel,” Cook said. “I just had a suspicion someone was passed out with his foot on the accelerator.”

After he got to the truck, Cook tried to break the window barehanded before he grabbed the rock. His hands were still bloody when police arrived. 

Lauren Easter, 29, an intensive-care cardiovascular nurse at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, was picking up some dry cleaning when she noticed the fire hydrant was knocked over. 

The clerk said 911 had been called, but hadn’t arrived. 

Easter told the dry-cleaner’s employee to watch her car and headed to the ditch.

“He was telling me he didn’t feel a pulse,” Easter said of Cook. “I was nervous that I didn’t know what to do without all my equipment and support team.”

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