Biker praised New Lenox Scouts who came to his aid
By Erin Gallagher For The Herald-News August 15, 2012 8:34AM
Updated: September 18, 2012 6:10AM
NEW LENOX — “Be prepared” has been a motto so many Boy Scouts have lived. Thankfully, it is rarely tested. For 13 young Scouts, that motto may have saved a man’s life.
It was an average Saturday last month when Boy Scout Troop 44 was hiking along a trail in Palos. Suddenly, Andy Matthews appeared on his bike, disoriented and swerving.
They asked the man if he was OK. After he said no, they noticed his eye was swollen shut and he was bleeding from his nose and mouth.
Matthews, who is from Evanston, had hit his face on a large rock, he told the New Lenox Village Board on Monday.
“I have three plates and 24 screws in my face right now,” he announced. “I’m not done yet with surgeries.”
At the time of the incident, the boys, ages 11 to 13, sprang into action. Just like the motto said, they were prepared.
“They had ice packs and first aid kits and all of the things I didn’t have,” Matthews said.
Mayor Tim Baldermann presented each of the boys with a Good Citizenship Award.
After years of learning the oaths from pack leaders and parents, the boys were able to put it all to real-life use, the mayor said.
“The boys were great,” Matthews said. “The biggest problem I had was less the injury and more the shock.”
The Boy Scouts included Michael McBride, T.J. Duraka, Bobby Pilipchuck, Kevin Dexheimer, Austin Wills, Will Lester, Michael Malloy, Nick Hill, Nathan Creech, Nick Ruskowsky, Anthony Rios, Ken Clarke andJake Dyrkacz.
The troop is sponsored by the Tom E. Hartung American Legion Post 1977.