On the Autobahn near Munich, Germany one Tesla Model S driver, Manfred Kick, noticed the car in front of him, a Volkswagen Passat, was driving erratically. The Passat drifted out of its lane and began scraping the guardrail. As Kick pulled up next to the Passat, he noticed that the driver’s body was motionless with his head and hands hanging down; he seemed unconscious. Kick immediately called emergency services. He could have driven off afterward, but the sense of immediate danger to the Passat driver and the other drivers on the road made him do otherwise. He said (translated), “It was clear that the driver needed urgent help.”
Kick took on the responsibility of bringing the Passat to a halt. He pulled his Tesla in front of the Passat, risking his vehicle and his personal safety, while slowly breaking and allowing the Passat to hit his rear bumper until both cars came to a complete stop. “I had to stop the car somehow,” explained Kick.
Next, he climbed into the Passat to give the driver first aid while they waited for the ambulance. Kick said, “I felt his pulse and then put him in a lying position so that the foam ran out of his mouth.” Once emergency services arrived, they were able to take the Passat driver to a hospital and treat him for a stroke as well as any other internal injuries he might have sustained from the car collision. The most recent update from the police about the Passat driver claims that the driver is in stable condition.
Police officers stated that, as a formality, they will investigate the accident. However, they do not intend to press any charges against Kick for causing the collision; in fact, the officer handling the case said that they are considering honoring Kick with an award for his bravery. Kick also received praise from the local fire department, which wrote on their Facebook (translated) that Kick “demonstrated incredible courage.”
The estimated costs for damages for both cars is roughly 10,000 euros ($10,548). Shortly after the accident, Kick said, “I don’t know if the insurance pays.” He followed that statement by making it clear that his car is not the most valuable part of the accident. “The most important thing is that the man is alright again.” That said, the cost of repairs can act as an unnecessary pressure on anyone. It’s a good thing that Elon Musk heard about the incident and decided to relieve that pressure.
Musk wrote on Twitter, “Congrats to the Tesla owner who sacrificed damage to his own car to bring a car with an unconscious driver safely to a stop!” He stated afterward that his company will pay for any repairs Kick’s vehicle needs: “In appreciation, Tesla is providing all repair costs free of charge and expedited.”
One good deed lead to another. What began as Kick helping a stranger receive the medical attention he needed gave rise to recognition from Musk and receiving some much needed car repairs.
It’s more than a single event where a hero saves a life. It’s a reminder that normal people can always be the hero, and that we all should strive to help others in need.
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