SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Ralph Evans’ life was spared more than 44 years ago thanks to Dr. Stanley Green who happened to spot the law officer on the side of a road after he’d been critically wounded by gunfire.
Evans was on his way to a traffic collision on Oct. 7, 1978 when he was flagged down by two girls near Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, just north of Salt Lake City, Utah. They said they had been assaulted by a man in a Jeep parked a short distance away, KSL reported.
As Evans contacted and subsequently handcuffed the intoxicated suspect, the man’s 13-year-old son shot the trooper twice, once in the neck and once in the lower back.
“I tried to move and I couldn’t move … but I could feel blood coming out of my head,” Evans recalled Wednesday. “And as I lay there wondering what was going to happen, if I was going to die, I heard somebody say, ‘I’m a doctor and I’ll do all I can to help you.'”
Green was driving with his family on the way to the airport when they came upon the startling scene shortly after Evans was shot.
“I still look back at that time as being a kind of a miracle both in my life and I think in his life, because we both felt like we should leave three hours early to go to the airport,” Green noted. “Had we been a few minutes late, he would have been dead. Had we been a few minutes early, he would have been dead. … I still remember that. I don’t remember everything in my life, but I still remember that.”
The two men reunited Wednesday after more than 44 years when they received citations from the Utah Legislature.
“If Dr. Green hadn’t got there just when he did, I’d have bled out,” Evans said. “What do you give someone who saves your life? I offered him anything I could give him. … Green gave me 44 years. By all rights, I shouldn’t be here.”
The citation from the Utah Legislature says in part, “The crossing of these two paths was a true miracle, and we recognize Dr. Green for his heroic actions.”
Green hopes the inspirational story serves as a reminder for people to care for those around them, according to KSL.
“What I would hope they would take is the fact that they need to listen to the spirit,” he said. “If you see something, you should stop and try to help. We never should pass on. We should always try to help everyone and all of us can do things to change society.”