Passerby gives barefoot crash victim his new shoes


SAN DIEGO — A crash victim was left barefoot in a road scattered with debris Thursday morning, but a good-hearted passerby happened to have a brand new pair of shoes on hand.

The collision happened around 5:30 a.m. at the Pershing Drive exit from southbound Interstate 5 near downtown. The man was driving a white sedan on the off-ramp when he lost control and flipped his vehicle, leaving it lying on its roof blocking the ramp, according to California Highway Patrol.

A second car came along a short time later and hit a wall in its attempt to avoid the overturned car, OnScene.TV reported.

The driver of the first car was left without access to his shoes, walking around barefoot on the debris-strewn off-ramp as he waited for the emergency response. A man passing the wreckage noticed his lack of footwear and happened to have a pair of “brand new white Adidas” with him.

“He was barefoot, he was shaken up and he needed shoes,” Tarson Powers told a freelance photographer at the scene. “You know, it felt like the right thing to do.”

The victim, who could be seen wearing the shoes and holding a bandage over his bleeding hand, was eventually loaded onto a stretcher and taken to the hospital for treatment.

Powers said the man offered to return the shoes to him later, but he told the man to hang on to them when his ordeal was through. “He can keep them, it’ll be my one good deed for the day,” he told the photographer.

Archival video shows Powers has served in the U.S. military, including at a NATO hospital in Afghanistan, where he recorded a video message to San Diego and his family in 2011. FOX 5 has reached out to him for further information.

Authorities said the woman driving the car that hit the wall also suffered minor injuries from her airbag. CHP did not immediately disclose what caused the original crash, or the full extent of the man’s injuries, but he was alert and speaking with paramedics.

The ramp was closed until around 7:30 a.m., according to Caltrans.

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