Jackson, an airframes mechanic instructor at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training aboard Camp Pendleton, was making a right turn on his motorcycle less than a mile from work when he collided with an oncoming passenger vehicle that was turning left. Jackson sustained only minor injuries and remembers the accident in detail.
"I stayed conscious through the whole thing," said Jackson. "Once I hit, I rolled over off of the bike and tried to stand up but my ankle was hurt pretty badly so I couldn't really walk and at this point I went down to my knees. Blood started running down my face and dripping off and I thought, 'Well, that's not good.'"
Jackson noted that all of this happened in mere seconds, and as he hit his knees to lie down, he felt a tug on his backpack that carefully lowered him to the ground. Two corpsmen, Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Parsons with Headquarters and Support Company, 1st Medical Battalion, and Seaman Max Norum with Headquarters and Support Company, 1st Supply Battalion, were both in their cars nearby. They sprang into action.
"My first reaction was to get out of my car and run over to the motorcycle driver and then I yelled at someone in a car across the road to call 911," said Parsons. "[the motorcycle rider] was down and I ran up to him to make sure he was breathing and coherent, so I could try to talk to him to make sure he wasn't seriously hurt."
Parsons began to run through the procedures for triaging and treating a patient; checking spinal, neural and respiratory functions, making sure he was conscious and coherent, and checking for external injuries.
His hands were rushing to keep up with his thoughts.
"I was just thinking I really hope this guy isn't hurt. Nobody wants to get hurt and I don't want to treat someone who's actually hurt," said Parsons, a native of Niceville, Fla. "That's what we're trained to do but not what we want to have to do."
Although Jackson was wearing a helmet, his sunglass lenses were shattered in the accident, causing small shards to cut into the skin just above his right eyebrow.
"I noticed some bleeding above his eyes." said Parsons "His sunglasses had cut into his head and that was the biggest thing I wanted to address."
After the initial evaluation Norum, a native of Gresham, Ore., used his medical bag that he kept in his car to begin treating the injuries.
The driver of the car wasn't badly injured but was treated and referred to the emergency room as well.
With traffic secured and the patients in good shape, the danger was at an end.
Parsons spoke for himself and the other Sailors on scene about how the medical knowledge that they possess made an impact here and helped them through this.
"The training that we receive is very repetitive," said Parsons. "We do it all the time. Once it's instilled in you it's just second nature when something like this happens."
From Jackson's perspective he could attest to both the proficiency and the character the corpsmen displayed.
"I'm very appreciative of how well everything was taken care of," said Jackson. "We always have it in our heads that we would do the same thing but until you're in that situation, you don't really know. I don't think he ever thought twice."
"I feel like I did what I should've done," said Parsons. "You don't even think about it really. You don't have to ask if you need to help; you just go and do it."
Jackson is from Ft. Collins, Colo. and has a wife, two young children and another on the way. He said he'd like to urge other riders to be vigilant and to give credit to all hazards because anything can happen.
Both parties involved in the accident were referred to the emergency room to ensure full treatment. The details of the accident are still under investigation.