Paramedic describes chaotic scene after getting hit by alleged drunk driver
BATON ROUGE- A paramedic for Acadian Ambulance talked about surviving a crash that sent six people to the hospital.
John Piker's shift was about to end when Piker and his partner came across a vehicle that was involved in a separate wreck at the I-10/12 split in Baton Rouge on Sunday around 1:30 a.m. Piker and his partner stopped to help the driver and so did a Baton Rouge Police officer. Piker recalled being out of the car for one or two minutes when a car came barreling out of control.
"I didn't even realize I was injured until somebody told me," Piker said.
Piker received a massive gash in his arm requiring nearly a dozen stitches, a broken toe and six shattered teeth. His partner who he was with that evening remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital.
"We got out," Piker said. "As soon as we got to the car and talked to the driver of the first vehicle before we knew anything, we were hit by a car."
Investigators say 26-year-old William Smith was driving the car that slammed into everybody on the side of the road. When it occurred, investigators said Smith kept driving. He was charged with DWI, hit and run and reckless operation.
"I got knocked down, pretty much everybody got knocked down," Piker said. "I got back up and I knew I had to start checking on everybody to figure out what was going on."
A number of people on the ground weren't moving, including Piker's partner.
"We found him in the median," Piker said.
As Piker began rendering aid to the victims he radioed for help.
"I grabbed my radio to call for help, my Acadian radio," Piker said. "I tried three or four times, before I looked down I realized my whole radio was gone. I grabbed the BRPD radio, I grabbed it and said officer down...officer down, 10-12 split...then I went to check on everybody."
As Piker reflects on what happened, he's ready to get back to work to continue doing what he loves, helping people.
"East Baton Rouge EMS, and Baton Rouge Police had an outstanding response," Piker said. "I'd like to thank all the nurses and doctors at the hospital too."
Piker said his wife is also a paramedic. She was one of the first people who arrived on scene.