For many people coming out of prison, returning to regular life is not easy. Some will struggle to find a job while others go back to old habits. One ex-inmate pushed hard to make a positive change, just a week after getting out of prison this young man landed a job interview. Aaron Tucker prepared to ride the city bus to his first job interview out of prison in a dress shirt he borrowed from the halfway house he is living in.
Tucker dozed a bit on his long bus ride but woke up just in time to witness a horrific car accident. One car ended up on its roof, and the driver was bleeding badly. From his seat on the bus, Tucker quickly saw that the injured man was in trouble.
As the accident happened, Tucker yelled to the driver of the bus to help the person. The driver stopped briefly but was not able to offer assistance or even leave his bus. He needed to stay on his route and warned Tucker that he would need to leave him there if he made a choice to get off the bus.
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Even with an interview that could change his life pending, Tucker jumped into action. He left his seat on the bus and ran towards the flipped-over car. The driver was losing a lot of blood due to a head injury, so Tucker removed his interview ready dress shirt to stop the bleeding. He also made a quick thinking move to get the driver out of the car by getting him out of the tangled seat belt. The car caught on fire shortly after the injured driver was dragged to safety.
As Tucker pulled the man to safety, several others came to try to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher from a local body shop. In the middle of all of this, Tucker sat with the victim while they waited for emergency responders. The man was severely injured, but the bleeding was controlled. Without worrying about missing his job interview, Tucker stayed to comfort the man. He did this by keeping him talking, alert and by telling him:
“You’re going to be all right. Your family wants to see you. Keep your eyes open.”
As the medical crew drove up, Tucker explained the unfolding scene:
“I had a grip on his arm to keep him calm as they put an oxygen mask on him, I just wanted to make sure he was all right, and that’s what I did.”
It wasn’t until after the victim was transported to the hospital that Tucker stopped to think about his situation and the interview he missed. Even as he realized that job was probably a lost opportunity, Tucker shared that:
“I feel like a job can come and go, but a life is one time thing. The job just wasn’t in my mind at that time.”
Word quickly spread locally about this selfless act. A local activist, Kami Evans, took to social media to organize a clothing drive and food drive to benefit Tucker and his young son. According to Evans:
“I think everybody was just so moved. This guy did such a selfless act. It wasn’t about anything but doing the right thing — and he did the right thing.”
There was also a GoFundMe page set up, and donations totaling over $16,000 came in on the first day alone. A local business also reached out to offer Tucker a suit to wear to upcoming job interviews. Even though he missed his first job interviews, he has had several offers come in after locals heard about his rescue. He is carefully considering the offers to be able to support his young son. As Tucker explained:
“I got locked up three weeks before my son was born. When he was born, I got a phone call from the hospital. I heard my son crying in the background, and right then and there I was like, ‘I’m changing my life.'”
Tucker was able to start to make these life changes even before leaving prison. He completed his GED and then worked as a tutor for others working towards earning their GED. Even as he was widely hailed as being a hero, Tucker humbly pointed to the fact that he is hoping to be a better role model for his son in the future.