Just before 8 a.m. on Sept. 27, Victoria “Vicky” Zang and her twin were going to school. As they were stopped in the line to enter MAST Academy, she spotted a motorcycle in her side-view mirror. At this moment, a large truck was making a left turn into the Virginia Key Park.
Before Vicky could warn the car or the motorcycle, the collision occurred.
She watched the motorcyclist's head fall to the ground as he went unconscious.. At first, Vicky was in shock. She had never seen a car accident occur and wasn't sure how to react. Her mind raced as, frozen behind the wheel, she tried to compose herself.
Quickly gaining composure, Vicky moved her car to protect the motorcyclist from school traffic. She called 911, then waited anxiously with her sister for the police and ambulance to arrive. Vicky said she felt responsible for staying with the injured motorcyclist. Then an ambulance arrived and before they knew it the motorcyclist was whisked away to the hospital.
It wasn't until Vicky stepped foot into her first class of the day that she processed what she had seen. She broke down crying. “I didn’t know this man, but I just started crying. I had never seen someone look so helpless, I felt so helpless. I started to wonder if he was married? Did he have kids? I wish I could have done more.”
Jackie Kellogg was getting ready for work, when the phone rang. It was a call from Jackson Memorial informing her that her husband, Joe Kellogg, had been admitted into the hospital for an accident. He was having his x-rays taken. Jackie thought it might have just been a broken arm, but after seeing the accident scene and talking with police, it became clear his injuries were worse than she expected. When she went to the hospital, she had to stay in her car as Ryder Trauma Center did not allow visitors. Through the days of tests, surgery and recovery Jackie’s only way of communicating was through a phone.
After eight days in the hospital, Joe Kellogg was released. He had suffered a spinal fracture, fracture to his face, a dislocated hip and multiple abrasions and contusions.
Soon after, Jackie Kellogg discovered that Vicky witnessed the accident, protected her husband at the crash site, and had called the police. She was taken aback, because a week earlier, she and Vicky had had a conversation while volunteering together. She had learned a lot about Vicky’s life and her plans to become a doctor.
“I remember thinking, she sounds pretty confident about that career choice,” Jackie Kellogg recalled. “It was impressive.Vicky is clearly wired for emergencies and helping people.”
Seeing the impact of her phone call, Vicky was reminded how much one person can truly make a difference. In instances like these, most people act as bystanders because they think someone else will make that crucial call.
“I would say, do like Vicky, don’t panic, beware of your environment, help if you can. If not, call 911. Not everyone is wired for that, but be prepared because it is a gift to help save a life,” said Kellogg.
Ava is a senior at MAST Academy where she writes for the school's newspaper BEACON, she was Editor-In-Chief of the Yearbook for last school year and she is an Islander News intern