The crumpled form lay still on the side of Madison Avenue.
Ian McLaughlin wasn’t completely sure, but thought it looked like someone may have been injured. The Johnson County sheriff’s deputy was off-duty, on his way to an appointment on April 12 when he came across the scene.
“It looked like a body, but no one was really right around it, so I wasn’t 100 percent sure. Still, I was 99 percent sure what I was seeing was someone in the street,” McLaughlin said.
Trusting his instinct, he parked his car and sprinted to what turned out to be a 77-year-old woman, in critical condition, bleeding and without a pulse.
McLaughlin’s quick actions helped save the woman’s life, as he administered CPR. He and another passer-by were able to get a pulse and stabilize the victim until paramedics and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers arrived on the scene.
“Every year, we do the CPR training, and it’s one of those things where you never know how often we’re going to use it. You never know when it’s going to come in handy like this,” McLaughlin said. “I’m glad I was there to help.”
McLaughlin, who works the night shift for the sheriff’s office, was on his way to an appointment when he came across the scene. He was driving north on Madison Avenue, having just passed County Line Road. He was pulling into his dentist’s parking lot when he was noticed traffic coming southbound was stopped.
At the same time, he noticed what looked like a body laying in the road. He parked his car and ran to the scene, where he found the woman.
Barbara Cory, 77, was bleeding from the head, wasn’t breathing and had no pulse.
“I checked her wrist to see if I could find a pulse, and I couldn’t. I double-checked on her neck, and again couldn’t find anything, so I started CPR,” McLaughlin said.
Almost immediately, another woman came up to help McLaughlin. They worked as a team to administer CPR to Cory. After six or seven rounds of compressions and mouth-to-mouth, Cory started breathing again.
“She looked like she was taking breaths, but they were kind of labored. I wasn’t sure they were great breaths, but by then, IMPD had arrived right before the medics got there,” McLaughlin said. “They found a weak pulse when they checked her.”
At that point, the medics assumed care of Cory while police tried to piece together what had happened. According to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police, she had been walking across Madison Avenue with her head down when she was struck by a passing truck.
Her current condition or what hospital she was taken to is not known, according to Indianapolis police.
McLaughlin has been a sheriff’s deputy since 2012, having served as a reserve deputy for a year before that. This was the first time he had to use his CPR training to rescue someone.
“I felt fortunate to be where I was, and fortunate to have another woman there with me to help. It made it a lot easier to have someone else there helping you,” McLaughlin said.