While driving home from work one evening several years ago, I approached an intersection that was controlled by a traffic light. The traffic light was red and I was preparing to make a right hand turn. There was a vehicle in front of me doing the same and a vehicle to his left, operated by an elderly man who was preparing to continue straight once the light turned green. In New York State the traffic laws allow you to make a right turn on a red signal after making a full stop and when it is safe to proceed. The vehicle in front of me stopped, then proceeded to make his right hand turn on the red signal. The elderly man, prompted by the movement to his right, assumed the light had turned green and proceeded forward into the intersection. To my horror, I observed a black Chevrolet coming from the right, traveling at high speed, enter the intersection and collide violently into the car driven by the elderly man. In an instant, I jumped out of my car and ran to the man’s vehicle. There was smoke emanating from under the hood and he was conscious but confused, dazed and in pain. Fearing that the vehicle may erupt into flames I tried to get him out of the car but could not release the seatbelt hasp. Not wanting to waste time, I pulled out my Case pocket knife that my grandfather had given me before he passed away and sliced right through the seatbelt as if it was a hot knife through butter. I pulled him out of the wreck and carried him to the nearest curb and waited with him for EMS to arrive. Shortly after that, the engine compartment erupted into flames. Within 5 minutes however, the flames were extinguished by emergency workers who arrived on the scene and the elderly man was removed safely to the hospital. I’m happy to report that the elderly man, who I later learned was named Edward, fully recovered from his injuries that consisted of broken ribs and two broken wrists.
When I think back on that day I will never forget the look on Edwards face when I first approached him and I will also never forget how easily the Case knife that my grandfather had given to me, sliced through a stubborn seatbelt. Since then, my knife collection has grown significantly and when people ask why I carry a knife every day………… I tell them to ask Edward.