By Arlene Borenstein
At just 16 years old, a student at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami is already considered a real-life hero.
Cristian Roldan happened to drive up to an accident scene in Kendall before emergency crews arrived – and quickly turned his belt into a tourniquet for a man whose leg had been severed.
Police body cam video of an accident scene from this past February as Roldan – who is also a little brother with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Miami – drove up to the accident on Southwest 127th Avenue near Southwest 104th Street , saying his intention was to perhaps block traffic until he realized the severity of what was a going on.
“In the distance it looked just like another fender bender,” Roland said. “Maybe 20 feet from his body, I saw his leg probably from above the knee down completely severed.”
A Miami-Dade County water and sewer employee that was working near the roadway was hit and pinned by another car, losing part of his leg.
“I see him on the floor in a pool of blood just dying screaming…and I ran up to him and I didn’t hesitate in that moment,” said the teen. “I personally think I wasn’t alone. I lean a lot on my faith.”
Cristian says he used his belt as a tourniquet – never having worn one to school until that day.
“At that point, I took off my belt and I put at the top of his thigh and just pulled with all my might with all the strength that was granted to me in that moment,” he added.
Roldan says he won’t forget that day – making eye contact with other drivers who slowed down but didn’t stop to help. Cristian says after several surgeries, the county employee survived. The head of BBBS Miami is recognizing his bravery.
“For a young man to have the maturity compassion despite any personal benefit to save a life, we need more in the society today,” said CEO and President Gale Nelson.
Cristian says he hopes his story inspire others, especially at a time when some people take to social media rather than stopping to help.
“We’re so caught up in things that don’t matter – in a small bubble these social proprieties, it’s a huge distraction,” Roldan said. “It’s blocking us from something great.”
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