As SUV bore down, Manchester hero pushed his friend to safety
Santiago pushed Arroyo out of the way, but he was hit and sent flying 10 feet into the air before crashing to the ground. He was knocked unconscious briefly. The muscles on the left side of his body were bruised when he came crashing down onto the pavement, breaking his wrist, which he was told would require surgery.
Police said there were witnesses who confirmed what happened and described the vehicle as a dark-colored Ford Explorer or Expedition with a New Hampshire license plate starting with the numbers 338.
“It’s something I can take,” he said.
As for Arroyo, she is doing fine and is expecting a baby in a few months.
The driver involved in the accident was never found.
He had to wear a cast on his hand for about 2-1/2 months, but said he went back to work at RMG Enterprise in Londonderry three weeks after he was injured. Within a couple of days of the crash, he said, the medical bills were already $5,000; he had no health insurance.
But he didn’t hesitate to help someone else in January.
“I was coming down Cilley (Road) hill,” he said, when he saw a vehicle crash into a wall.
“I called 911,” said Santiago. “The car was filling up with smoke.”
Other people began to approach, so with the phone to his ear, Santiago tried to coordinate the efforts to provide assistance until the EMTs arrived.
“But it was a standard and started to roll,” he said. Someone jumped inside and pulled the emergency brake.
This time, Santiago wasn’t injured, but he doesn’t know what happened to the man whose car crashed the evening of Jan. 15.
The Union Leader Hero Awards honor New Hampshire residents who have risked their lives in the previous year to save or attempt to save the life of another person. The program is sponsored by Citizens Bank and presented by the New Hampshire Union Leader.
For more information, contact Community Relations Manager Shannon Sullivan at 206-7833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.