Nurse jumps into action to help woman, dog after multi-car crash along I-17

A nurse and his wife saw a multi-car crash on Interstate 17 in Phoenix and helped save a woman and her dog.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 5:13 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Doreen Letson and her dog Bubbles have a lot to be thankful for. On Wednesday, the Prescott woman and her pup were reunited with the HonorHealth registered nurse and his wife, who saved her dog’s life. “I can’t even express the gratitude I have for these two,” said Letson.

Letson was recently driving along Interstate 17 near the Loop 101 freeway, with Bubbles buckled up by her side, when they were involved in a multi-car crash. Phil McAlister and his wife, Kristy McAlister, saw what happened and immediately pulled over. “I wanted to see what was going on,” said Phil McAlister. “I knew that with my nursing background, and EMT background and health care in general, I could potentially do some good in this situation.”

The McAlisters said Letson was in some pain, but her main concern was her dog, who had been thrown out of her carrier. “I was alive and breathing, and she was lying on the floor,” said Letson. “I wasn’t sure what was going on. I knew what was going on with me, but I didn’t know about her.”

“That’s not something that’s a priority for EMS, or any crew. It’s the people,” said Kristy McAlister. “I was like, what will happen to this dog if we don’t help? I couldn’t stand the thought, we have to help.”

The McAlisters rushed Bubbles to a veterinarian emergency room while Letson was taken to a nearby hospital with a fractured sternum. Arizona’s Family was told Bubbles had extensive brain swelling and getting him to the VET right away saved his life. “If we were in a car accident with our dog, I would hope somebody would be decent enough to do the same, or have same thought process for us, because dogs are family,” said Phil McAlister.

Letson is hoping that by sharing her story it will inspire others to stop when they see an accident, call 911, then help any people or pets who may be hurt. “You don’t have to have a nursing or medical background to see if you can help,” said Letson. “All people can help with a pet that might be in a car, or hurt, and see what you can do to help them.”

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