Jack Foster, left, shakes hands with 9-year-old Tye Warwick, right, of Green Springs, who was struck by a minivan and dragged about 90 feet before the vehicle stopped. Also present are, from left, Amanda Spencer, Duane Spencer, Steve Spencer, and Dylan Warwick who stand nearby after receiving a certificate of recognition for helping Tye.
FREMONT — Green Springs, Ohio, Police Chief Charlie Horne got nervous when the 6-year-old boy who’d just been run over and dragged by a minivan didn’t cry.
“You expect to hear a blood curdling scream — that’s a good thing,” Chief Horne said. “He wasn’t crying.”
The young boy, Tye Warwick, was conscious after being pulled out from under the van on April 10, but the police chief took one look at his injuries and feared the little guy wouldn’t make it. He called in the Ohio Highway Patrol to help at the scene.
Wednesday, state troopers welcomed a still-recovering Tye to the Fremont post along with a roomful of family members, well-wishers, and a few strangers, too. Four “Good Samaritans” whose quick thinking likely saved Tye’s life that day were presented with certificates of recognition from the highway patrol.
Tye, his head and left arm still wrapped in a white bandage, handed plaques to each of the angels — Amanda Spencer of Clyde and her brother, Steve Spencer of Perrysburg; Jack Foster of Clyde; and Tye’s own brother, Dylan Warwick of Green Springs. All of them disregarded their own safety and jumped in to help, said Lt. Brent Meredith, commander of the Fremont patrol post.
“It’s not every day troopers or police officers get to do this type of thing,” Lieutenant Meredith told the group. “We’re usually doing things most people wouldn’t like to do so it’s nice to be on the other side of things.”
It was an unseasonably warm and sunny Sunday afternoon when Ms. Spencer went for a ride to Green Springs on the back of her brother Steve’s motorcycle. They, along with their brother Duane Spencer, who also was on a motorcycle, had stopped for gas at the BP gas station.
“I jumped off the back of the bike so he could fill it up, and I heard a noise,” Ms. Spencer recalled. “I couldn’t describe it. That’s what made me look toward the carryout.”
Down the street, just outside the Corner Drive-Thru and Carryout, a minivan had pulled out and struck Tye, who was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. The driver, apparently not realizing she’d hit someone, kept going. Tye was dragged underneath her vehicle for about 90 feet.
Both Ms. Spencer and Tye’s brother, Dylan, who had been walking behind him with some friends, began waving their arms and screaming for the motorist to stop. When she did, they could only see Tye’s legs sticking out from underneath the van.
By that time, Steve and Duane Spencer had run down the street to help.
“I yelled out, we have to lift this vehicle now,” Steve Spencer recalled.
He said he has no idea where the strength came from, but he, Duane, and Dylan lifted up the van long enough for Ms. Spencer to pull Tye out from under it.
“It’s like someone else took over my body,” Steve Spencer said. “That’s what it really felt like.”
Enter Jack Foster, a lab technician at Bellevue Hospital who also happened to be at the BP station in Green Springs with his son who needed new tires. Mr. Foster said he ripped off his T-shirt, wrapped Tye’s left arm with it, and began applying pressure. Tye was bleeding badly, but talking.
“He was sitting there in Amanda’s arms talking. ‘I didn’t see the car. I didn’t see the car. I’m hurt. Am I gonna die?’ That just about tore my heart,” Mr. Foster said. “I said, ‘No, you’re not going to die. He looked up and said, ‘Where’s my Mom?’ but he never cried.”
Tye’s mother, Angi Warwick, said she was doing yard work when one of Dylan’s friends who witnessed the accident came to get her.
“All I saw was blood,” she recalled.
Tye was flown by air ambulance to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo where it was determined he had fractured two ribs and sustained severe burns and wounds on his left arm, left knee, right shoulder, the right side of his face, and his right wrist. He was hospitalized for 10 days and is expected to undergo skin grafts for the wounds on his arm and knee at a later date.
Ms. Warwick said she is grateful her spunky kindergartner is doing so well. He has not returned to school at Green Springs Elementary, but will soon have a tutor to get him up to speed with his classmates.
Tye said he got to visit his class Wednesday. He missed his classmates, misses school, he said, although he’s far from forgotten.
Since the accident, four well-wishers have presented him with new bicycles — one of which he gave to Dylan. Green Springs Mayor Ted Rutherford said the local fire department collected $2,100 at a pancake breakfast to buy Tye a new bike, but decided to put it in the bank to help with his medical expenses instead.
“We’re glad that people showed up to help. We’re glad our fire department and police department helped,” the mayor said. “We’re glad Tye’s doing better, and he looks like he’s ready to go.”
Mr. Foster said he and Steve Spencer agree on one thing — they were meant to be at the gas station in Green Springs that day.
“It wasn’t happenstance,” Mr. Foster said. “It was God. He placed the people there who needed to be there.”
The driver of the minivan, Shayna Alloway, 19, of Green Springs was cited by troopers for reckless operation. She entered a not guilty plea to the charge last month in Tiffin Municipal Court where she is scheduled to go to trial May 27.
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