Jon Ryan chose to help a stranger at a literal and figurative fork in the road. On December 14, while driving to his next service call in Wakefield, Massachusetts, the Benco Dental Field Technician witnessed a jarring event: A speeding vehicle crossed traffic and plowed into an 18-year-old young man walking on the sidewalk.
Ryan, who in that instant pulled his van over and rushed to assist, recalls the scene at the intersection of Main and Green:
“The car was going 35-40 mph when it hit the kid, who was thrown in the air. He went above the Audi SUV that hit him. When he came down, he was bleeding from his head, and had a concussion.”
“I pulled off my Benco jacket and used it to support his head and grabbed my extra uniform shirt to stop the bleeding.”Benco Dental Field Technician Jon Ryan describes the scene where he helped a teen hit by speeding vehicle in Wakefield, Massachusetts.
The 35-year-old seasoned Mixed Martial Arts competitor and proficient bowhunter approached the situation calmly, channeling past experiences.
“Anyone who has ever seen a Thai boxing fight is well aware that it’s not for the squeamish… and being a bouncer in Boston for 15 years, you just learn how to keep cool under pressure,” said the Atkinson, New Hampshire resident.
Though not startled by the sight of blood, Ryan was staggered by the reaction of others passing by.
The teen was unconscious at first, and in those moments, Ryan feared for the worst.
“No one stopped. Everyone started slowing down and looking once the police officers and fire engines were there, but when I had this kid in my arms in the beginning I was screaming (for the driver) to call 9-1-1 because I couldn’t do it,” said Ryan. It wasn’t until one other person pulled over to offer a hand that 9-1-1 was dialed, he added.
Why did Benco Dental Field Technician Jon Ryan choose to help a stranger at a literal and figurative fork in the road in Wakefield, Massachusetts?
“I would never want anyone to be alone in that moment, it’s got to be scary,” said Ryan.
Fortunately, the young man regained consciousness enough to share his name and direct police arriving at the scene to his father and nearby residence.
“I got him to tell me where he lived,” said Ryan, describing Dominic as a high school football player set to graduate this year. “He had just dropped off his little brother home from school and was on his way to gym. He had his back to traffic.”
Benco Field Technician Jon Ryan recalls details about the family in distress at accident scene
The worst part, Ryan said, was seeing Dominic’s family in distress in the aftermath.
As the 6-foot-tall Benco Field Tech was helping police and emergency personnel move the 240-pound young man into the ambulance, his mom arrived on a city bus that was navigating around firetrucks at the scene.
“She already saw what was going on prior to the bus stopping — it was awful, the worst part. A block away she got off the bus from work – she’s a nurse — to see her son being loaded on a stretcher.”Benco Dental Field Technician Jon Ryan, on the reaction of the mother of a teenager hit by a speeding vehicle.
“She was screaming, running and crying. I felt so bad when she rode off with Dominic in the ambulance.”
“(Dominic’s father) said ‘Thank you so much.”
“I stopped over there two days after it happened because I remembered where Dominic had said he lived. I saw his father and asked how Dominic was doing. When I was leaving, I gave his Dad the biggest hug,” said Ryan.
“Every now and then you’ve got to give the shirt off your back for someone you don’t know.”
BEHIND THE BENCO UNIFORM: MEET JON RYAN
Residence: Atkinson, New Hampshire
Pets: Abel, Blue Nose Pitbull
“I’ve had him since he’s 7-and-a-half weeks old and he’s 9 now. He’s like my son.”
Best Part of His Career: “There’s always a challenge around the corner. Every dental office is different, no two calls are the same. I like helping people, it’s one of the things I enjoy.”
When he’s not at Benco, you can find him:
— Working on his Dodge Challenger.
— Epic gaming – Super Nintendo, Zombies Ate My Neighbors. Classic– The Legend of Zelda
— Streaming horror movies and Cobra Kai Season 3
— Bowhunting. “I got into archery because I couldn’t fight anymore. I started MMA and Muay Tai at 16.”
— Hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. “Camping in New England is just serenity.”
Benco Dental Managing Director Chuck Cohen contributed to the article