UPS Driver Jumps Into Action to Save Suburban Woman's Life

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Saul Hernandez has been driving for the United Parcel Service for 20 years. His route is mostly residential, but he doesn't get to interact with customers often.

"I usually leave the package and go," said Hernandez.

That changed last week when he came across something he'd never experienced in Carpentersville he said. A woman was on the ground in a pool of her own blood.

"For a split second, all my senses went numb," he said.

Janet Hartfield had tripped on a detached wooden step while carrying groceries into a friend's home.

"I knew immediately it was bleeding. I could feel the warmth. Then when I looked down it was gushing," said Hartfield. "I was carrying a couple half gallons of milk. When I put the milk down on the stoop to get the rest of the groceries, the weight shifted in my body on this board."

The board then flipped in the air and landed on her shin, she explained. It severed a varicose vein, Hartfield later learned, leaving a seven-inch gash.

Hartfield's friend was inside the house at the time but is disabled and was unable to get outside. She called 9-1-1, but Hartfield was losing blood quickly.

 "I noticed her eyes rolled back, and she was very pale," said Hernandez.

Hernandez had just arrived to deliver a package and immediately jumped into action. Hartfield's friend threw him a rag, and he applied pressure while also keeping her calm until paramedics arrived.

"When the paramedics got here, they said told him he had done the right thing but said they thought I lost two and a half pints of blood in 10 minutes," said Hartfield.

Hartfield is still recovering with a bandage on her leg and multiple stitches. Doctors said she'll have those until at least early July. She said she's extremely grateful Hernandez was in the right place at the right time, and above all, that he was willing to help.

"I do get emotional when I think about it. People don’t do that anymore," she said. "He didn’t know me from anyone, and he was giving me seconds I might not have had."

In a statement, UPS said, “We’re all truly grateful that Janet is ok and are proud of driver Saul Hernandez for his quick actions and concern for others."

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