Good Samaritans Realize They Helped Priest Through Google

California couple find they were first responders to Fr. Greeley accident

A young California couple visiting Chicago had no idea who they were helping when a man fell and hit his head getting out of a cab last Friday afternoon. Turns out, the good Samaritans came to the aid of novelist and Sun-Times columnist Fr. Andrew Greeley.

Renee Tucknott and her boyfriend, in Chicago for a wedding, were waiting for a cab themselves when Greeley's coat apparently was caught in the cab's door and dragged him, causing serious injuries.

In a telephone interview, Tucknott said when she saw Father Greeley fall she and her boyfriend, Lawrence Williamson, ran to help.  She said Greeley seemed to be in shock and was unable to talk to them.  They quickly called 911 and stayed with him until paramedics arrived.  Williamson is studying to be an EMT so he felt he put his training to work.  

"We kept talking to him and tried to keep him warm and checked to see if he had a pulse," Tucknott said. 

When Tucknott returned to California, she wanted to see if there were news reports about the person they had helped -- knowing only that he had a priest's collar. When she searched the Internet, she was linked to the story.

"We were unaware of who this man was and we just kept wondering on how he was doing, I decided to Google something to see if it might show up in the news." Tucknott wrote on the NBC Web site.

When Greeley's extended Chicago family saw the comment on, they tracked Tucknott down through MySpace to thank her. "We are so grateful he was in good hands at the time," said Julie Montague, Greeley's niece.

"At least now we can monitor to see how he's doing," Tucknott said.

Fr. Greeley remains in critical condition under sedation at Lutheran General Hospital in suburban Chicago.

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