Student helps save professor after he was hit by a car

Published: Thursday, Nov. 17 2011 6:30 p.m. MST

Natasha Cope talks about getting off a bus to help a man who was hit by a vehicle and was in the road, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A combat medic who spent a year in Afghanistan and Iraq never put her skills to use until a bus trip to the University of Utah. Now a professor is alive and recovering in a hospital because of her training.

Natasha Cope, who is six months pregnant, was on a shuttle bus Wednesday when she overheard on the bus driver's radio that a man had been hit by a car and the bus dispatch center needed to call 911. Moments later she saw the man in the street and jumped off the bus to help him.

"We came around the corner from President's Circle, and we immediately saw the guy lying" in the road, she said. "I asked the bus driver to stop ... and she let me off."

A man in his mid-70s had just been hit by a car. He had blood around his head and was hurt on his left side, but Cope calmly knew exactly what to do and gave the man her coat and mittens as she treated him for shock.

“I had the training I had,” she said. “So it just happened I was in the right place at the right time.”

Cope is a trained Army combat medic. She just returned this summer after a year-long deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan with her unit, the 141st Military Intelligence Battalion of the Utah National Guard.

Until Wednesday, she has never needed her medical training. But don't try to call her a hero for jumping off the bus and springing into action. She says many others stopped to help, too.

"I figure if there's nobody to help or nobody who has any kind of training, it's hard to drive by knowing you can do something and say, ‘I've got to get to class,’” she said. “If no one is there to help, you want to get out and do what you can."

Police have not released the professor's name, but he’s expected to recover.

Natasha and her husband, Jeremy, who is in the same National Guard unit, are expecting a baby girl in early March.

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