KALAHEO — When Wyatt Pimental saw his cousin’s arm was missing, he knew what to do.
“I wasn’t scared,” he said.
The 15-year-old realized he had to act quickly if the life of Joseph Pimental was going to be saved following the July 11 accident on Puuwai Road.
Joseph Pimental’s right arm was severed when his acquaintance, Puamelekule Sagucio, lost control of an eastbound Chevrolet pickup truck, veered onto the shoulder of the road and struck a telephone pole on the truck’s passenger side about 8:45 p.m., according to the county of Kauai.
Help was right behind them.
Wyatt, his father Jason Pimental and friend Noah Sasil, 16, were following in a vehicle and headed to Sagucio’s house, where they planned to pick Joseph up for an outing. They were the first upon the accident scene.
Wyatt and Sasil, who had completed junior lifeguard training a day before the accident, wasted no time attending to Joseph’s injury.
“As I came out of the truck I saw his arm on the ground and from that point I was just numb,” Sasil said. “I just clicked into action and did what I had to do until help came. Then I just sat on the side and hoped for the best.”
Wyatt used a rope from the back of his father’s truck to create a tourniquet to slow the bleeding from Joseph’s injury. Sasil applied pressure to the wound and made sure the rope was securely wrapped around Joseph’s shirt.
Sasha Dorish, who also arrived on scene, used Jason’s shirt to apply pressure to the wound. Jason held Joseph and kept him awake until paramedics arrived a few minutes later.
Joseph said he has no recollection of the accident but is grateful to his family for being there.
“If not for them, I wouldn’t be here right now,” he said.
Milani Pimental, Wyatt’s mother, said doctors said that had Joseph not received help so quickly, he may have died.
Doctors were unable to reattach Joseph’s arm because it sustained too much damage in the accident, Milani Pimental said.
She and her husband are proud of their son.
“I think I can probably speak for all of the parents, both my son and Noah, too, that we were just glad that they were there,” she said. “It was just the right timing they happened upon them and I’m so thankful that the junior lifeguard training gave them the training and the cool to stay calm and help Joseph.”
Wyatt was just glad to be there when his cousin needed him.
“I feel good cause he’s not gone,” the Kauai High School student said. “It would be different if he was gone.”
Meantime, the 36-year-old Joseph, a mechanic living in Kalaheo, has refused to let the loss of a limb slow him down. He remained in Wilcox Memorial Hospital for five days before he was released July 16, a day earlier than expected.
The next day, he was back working as he repaired his cousin’s damaged farming fence. He even said he’s feeling good and wants to continue welding.
“Look ahead,” he said. “As soon as the doctor released me, I’m back to work.”
The female driver of the truck Puamelekule Sagucio, 18, of Kalaheo, was arrested for first-degree negligent injury. She was released pending investigation.