ST. PAUL, Minn. – Four high school Sea Cadets say their training kicked in when they drove up on a motorcycle crash Saturday night.
Now they’re earning praise from both their skipper and the first state trooper to pull up on the scene.
“When we saw the bikers and we all jumped out we didn’t really think about it, it was just instinct to go and help those people,” said Airman Alex Campuzano, a junior at Minnetonka High School.
The driver of the Harley lost control of his bike while entering I-94 from a ramp at Menomonie, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol. Both the driver and his female passenger were injured.
The Sea Cadets pulled up just after the crash, having left a graduation party in Eau Claire for another cadet.
“We saw one biker who was bleeding pretty bad,” said Petty Officer Third Class Edward Dion, a junior at Highland Park High School. “He was in great shock as you would expect.”
The teens pulled blankets from the trunk of their car and a first aid kid from the glove box.
“I started to apply the gauze to his facial lacerations and held that steady until paramedics arrived,” said Dion.
Meantime, Campuzano tended to the passenger, while Petty Officer First Class William Seck and Airman Dylan McMaster directed traffic around the crash.
Seck is junior at Stillwater High School and McMaster graduated this past weekend from Park High School in Cottage Grove.
“We all did what had to be done and that’s really what Sea Cadets teaches you,” said Dion.
The teens won praise from Trooper Timothy Knutson of the Wisconsin State Patrol.
“Just being there and helping out before I was able to arrive and do what I needed to do is greatly appreciated. I just want to thank them for that,” said Knutson.
The driver of the motorcycle, 56-year-old Dale Dean Thisius of Edina, and his 53-year-old passenger, Teresa Thisius, were taken to nearby hospitals. The state patrol says their injuries were not life threatening.
The patrol said Dale Dean Thisius was charged with “criminal reckless driving causing bodily harm.”
The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corp is the youth organization of the Navy and open to teens 13 through 18.
The teens who came upon the accident are members of the Sea Cadets’ Twin Cities Squadron.
The teens’ skipper, Lt. Allyson McCormach, said she wasn’t surprised when she heard of the assistance they had rendered. “I see it every drill weekend and off drill, their character and their abilities,” she said.