While other motorists honked at a truck not moving at a stop sign, 16-year-old Howell High junior Max Greenwood jumped out of his truck and ended up being a good Samaritan.
It appeared the man at the wheel of the stopped truck was disoriented and needed help, Greenwood said. He later learned the man may have been suffering from low blood sugar.
"You preach to your kids that you need to do the right thing, and when he did I was really proud," his mother Mary Pudelko said. "In this day and age, when a lot of kids don't think about anyone but themselves, he stepped up and it made a difference."
"It's a person," Greenwood said of why he didn't hesitate to help the man. "If I was in his situation, I would want someone to help me. ...I stopped because I always try and make an effort to help people on the side of the road."
Greenwood was driving on Eager Road near Golf Club Road in Oceola Township around 3 p.m. Wednesday, when he noticed the stopped truck.
"He didn't move when (the intersection) was clear of traffic, so I knew something was up. At first, I thought he was broken down," he said.
Greenwood said the man seemed "really out of it" and had trouble remembering his name and where he was.
"A few people were honking and a couple of people passed him because they were frustrated he was stopped. I didn't want to just honk and be a dirt bag like that," he said.
Greenwood told the man to pull over to the side of Golf Club Road to get out of the way of traffic.
Two women had also pulled over to help the man.
"He told the women he thought his blood sugar was low," Greenwood said. "He got progressively worse. One of the women gave him a Coke to help his sugar levels, but I could tell it wasn't helping, so I called 911."
"When my son was telling me the story, I got emotional. I was like, you're only 16. How did you know to do this?" Pudelko said.
"What would have happened if I didn't help? If I didn't stop and drove past him, he could have tried to drive and then hit someone and someone could have died, and I didn't want anyone to get hurt," Greenwood said.
He does not know the man's name and they did not exchange information.
"I'd like to know if he is okay. I have a feeling he was," he said.
EMS and 911 officials did not release information about the man's identity or medical condition due to federal medical privacy laws.
County 911 manager Joni Harvey said Thursday it is "unusual" for a teenager to react like he did to a stranger's medical emergency.
"You don't see that often with the young ones. Usually young people call one of their parents, who then calls 911. ...I think it's inspirational that a young person was trying to be a good Samaritan," Harvey said.
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