Just a Helping Hand

(U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman Caelynn Ferguson/Released)

(U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman Caelynn Ferguson/Released)


The calm, controlled voice of an emergency line operator drifted through the earpiece of the Airman’s cellphone notifying him that they would send emergency responders to his location as soon as they could. He quickly hung up the phone and ran back to scene.

2nd Lt. Nathan A Wikowsky, 315th Training Squadron student stationed at Goodfellow AFB, had discovered motorcyclist Josh B. Allen wrecked on Interstate 10 outside Segovia, Texas, July 17.

 “When I got back over there, they’d laid them on the ground and my wife had gotten our backpack and put it under his feet,” said Wikowsky.

Josh Allen’s father, Tom Green County Sheriff Deputy Capt. Todd Allen who had been riding with his son, said he watched the wreck through the rear view mirror of his motorcycle and by the time he could get back to his son, Wikowsky had arrived on the scene.

“When he stopped his car he didn’t know if it was a life-saving event,” said Todd Allen. “It could have been, and he was willing to take that chance.”

Wikowsky said that Josh had road rash all over his body and the front of his helmet was completely ripped off. One shoe lay in the middle of the road, the other was still on, but torn to shreds.

“When I got there I was trying to assess the situation to figure out how to help the guy,” said Wikowsky, “I thought ‘this just happened so no one has been here to help them out.’ Let’s see how we can help.”

Five minutes into assessing his condition, a registered nurse had pulled over to help as well. Wikowsky gave her the first aid kit from his car and together they laid an emergency blanket over the guardrail to shade Josh and check his vitals.

As soon as he was coherent, Wikowsky turned his attention to Todd Allen.

“I was just thinking what if that was me there,” said Wikowsky, “that I had just witnessed my son wreck and that he could have died. I just tried taking his mind off things, like asking where they were from.”

Their conversation drifted on about weekend plans and if Wikowsky was military based off of his haircut.

Eventually Todd asked Wikowsky for his name. Wikowsky gave him his first name only, content with helping, not receiving recognition.

Wikowsky was about to leave when the emergency response team took Josh. He spent a couple more minutes picking up the bloody rags left behind for the father and even offered to take Josh’s belongings to San Angelo since his father couldn’t carry it all on motorcycle.

Instead, the registered nurse took the belongings and Wikowsky left before Todd Allen could get any more identification.

Adamant in tracking Wikowsky down and thanking him and his wife for their actions that day, Todd called whomever he could on base just to find him. Eventually, he reached members who connected him with Wikowsky so he could give his thanks.

“I hope that everybody realizes that they are the kind of people to stop and lend a hand,” said Todd Allen. “His parents should be proud, superior officers should be proud. As a taxpayer and a supporter, I’m proud.”