By Linda Linonis
GIRARD — Anyone ever in a serious car accident probably would be thankful if someone such as James “Jamie” M. Noyes of Hubbard were nearby.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol honored the 26-year-old Hubbard man in a simple ceremony Friday morning in the roll-call room at the Girard Police Department for his quick action that saved Rosevelt Raine, 65, of Austintown.
Lt. Joseph Dragovich of OSHP said the accident occurred about 1:50 p.m. Jan. 8 on Salt Springs Road near Interstate 80 South. Raine lost control of his vehicle on the snow- covered road, crossed over the road and went down a 70-foot embankment into about 4 feet of water. His vehicle flipped over.
“There wasn’t hesitation on his part,” Lt. Dragovich said of the young man who helped a stranger. He noted troopers have been recognized for such heroics, but it isn’t often that civilians are.
Trooper Kris Conaway, who was at the scene, said, “He [Noyes] risked his life for someone. What he did is hard to put into words.”
Noyes, who was traveling north on Salt Springs Road, saw Raine’s car veer out of control. He said he turned his car to block traffic behind him because he could see that Raine’s car was out of control. Then, he got out of his car, went down the embankment to get the driver out of the car.
“I saw someone in need and knew I had to help,” Noyes said, noting he felt what he did was instinctive.
“I just did what needed to be done,” Noyes said of his effort. “When I first saw him [Raine], I could only see the top of his hands,” Noyes recalled.
Noyes said he knew he had to get Raine out of the vehicle and out of the icy water, which was about chest high. He did just that, asking Raine if anyone else was in the car. He was alone.
After Noyes got Raine out of the vehicle, he gave him his shirt and coat to help keep the older man warm. “I was worried about hypothermia,” Noyes said. With help from emergency personnel who had arrived on the scene, Raine was pulled up the embankment.
Noyes is a student at Kent State Tuscarawas Campus in New Philadehphia, Ohio, and plans to get a doctorate in microbiology. “Medicine has played a role in my life,” he said. He first started to study to be a nurse. “I wanted to help people,” he said.
Then he said he realized “I was smart enough to be a doctor” and he switched his course of study. He does research and designs experiments for high school biology teachers.
Noyes said he was on Salt Springs Road because he had been working with his father, Mike Noyes of Hubbard, at apartments nearby.
And he was on his cell phone with his girlfriend, Jessica Richardson of Fresno, Ohio, and abruptly ended the conversation when he saw the accident. “I wondered what happened. ... I didn’t hear from him for about 11‚Ñ2 hours,” Richardson said.
Richardson and Noyes’ grandmother, Pat Wayland of Hubbard, attended the ceremony. “I’m proud to have such a grandson,” Wayland said. But she said she wasn’t surprised that her grandson put himself in harm’s way to help someone. “He always wants to help people.”
Noyes said he was surprised when contacted by OSHP about the recognition. “I didn’t think of [the rescue] as a big deal,” he said.
In fact, after the incident, he and Richardson went deer hunting with muzzle loaders as they had planned.
But for Raine, Noyes’ action were a big deal because they saved his life. Raine and his wife had planned to attend the ceremony Friday but he is still recovering from the accident. “I have a broken neck and have to wear a neck brace,” Raine said. A knee and hip also were injured but now are mending.
“I’m so thankful he was there,” Raine said. “I think I would have been a goner without him there.”
Raine said he thought of Noyes like the Good Samaritan of the Bible. “It shows there are people out there willing to help others,” Raine said. “My wife said God put an angel in him.”
Raine said when he has recovered, he plans to visit Noyes. “If he ever needs something, I want to help. He went out of his way to help me,” Raine said. “He ‘manned up.’”
Delores Raine said she was grateful Noyes was there when her husband needed help. “I’ve very glad he had concern for others.”