Above the Call

Motorcyclist loses leg in accident, HDSP nurse first at scene

Woman in purple blouse wears a name badge and a whistle.
High Desert State Prison RN Teresa Smith.

By CDCR/CCHCS Communications Staff

When High Desert State Prison Registered Nurse Teresa Smith was on her way to work May 24, she wasn’t expecting to help save a life.

Smith was driving around 6:30 in the morning when she came across a major motorcycle accident.

“I did not see the accident occur. It looked like a white car was making a left turn (and) turned into a motorcycle driving down the road,” Smith said. “I arrived a few minutes after the accident. I walked over a dismembered bleeding leg to a motorcycle rider lying on the highway by his bike. I shook the young man and asked if he was OK. He said, ‘My leg.'”

The young man, Matt Lively, had lost his leg in the accident. The man was conscious so Smith reassured him and began taking steps to stop the bleeding.

“I told him that he would be alright,” she recalls. “I told the young man I was going to put pressure on his leg to stop it from bleeding. I removed my utility belt from my waist, wrapped it around the young man’s thighs, and pulled tight to stop the bleeding. The bleeding stopped.”

About this time, other CDCR staff began to arrive. HDSP and California Correctional Center staff stopped and assisted, including Dr. Mark Davis, SRN Rachelle Surian, RN Bryan, and CCPOA representative Von Raider.

“I was so thankful for Dr. Mark Davis from HDSP, as he helped keep the utility belt acting as a tourniquet,” Smith recalls.

Soon the California Highway Patrol and EMTs arrived to transport Lively to the hospital.

“RN Rice from HDSP secured, cooled, and wrapped Matt’s dismembered leg for transport,” Smith said.

Since the accident, Smith has been updated on his progress and appreciates the fundraisers which friends, family, and the community have put on in support of Lively.

“I am thankful and proud to work with so many talented people from HDSP, CCC and the community who did so much to help the young man live.”