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Illinois trucker thanks the people who saved his life

(Photo Credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News. Center: John Lindsey speaks with Ken and Robyn Newell who helped with chest compressions.)

MURRAY, Utah – A truck driver from Illinois finally gets to meet the people who saved his life after a violent crash on I-15 this month.  Doctors say he’s lucky trained personnel just happened to be close when he had a heart attack behind the wheel.

If you were to ask long-distance driver John Lindsey what happened while he was driving on the freeway in South Salt Lake, he wouldn’t be able to tell you.  Very little of that day is clear to him.

“I can’t get a hold of when I got the other trailer or when I got into the Salt Lake area.  I don’t remember any of that.  The only thing I remember is that a few days later, she [his fiancé] was yelling my name,” he says.

(Photo Credit: Intermountain Medical Center)

Witnesses like Justin Letizia can remember things more vividly.  He was just a few cars behind Lindsey when the semi slammed into the barrier.  When Letizia reached the cab, he could see Lindsey staring off in the distance.  Instantly, he knew something was wrong.

Letizia says, “My first instinct was to try and get vitals to find out what was really going on.”

He and another bystander tried to pull him out of the cab.  While that was happening, Provo Police officers Ken and Robyn Newell arrived to give Lindsey chest compressions.  At one, point, there were a dozen people there to help Lindsey.  Medics were able to shock his heart back into rhythm.

Doctors say Lindsey went into full cardiac arrest, and they’re convinced the efforts from the first responders saved his life.  While at the hospital, Lindsey quintuple bypass surgery.

“I’m grateful to be here and I want to thank everybody here to help me be here,” Lindsey says.

His fiancé, Grett Williams, believes divine intervention kept Lindsey alive.

“It was miraculous that everybody was there and to be by the hospital and the staff that they have.  They were just wonderful to help bring him back to me,” she says.