Woman who rushed onto crashed bus receives accidental prick from needle

Samaritan pricked by needle

A good Samaritan who rushed onto a crashed transit bus Friday night in Kelowna to help injured passengers was thanked by the universe with an accidental poke from a used and bloody syringe. 

Jessica Ball was driving home from work at around 10 p.m. and was one of the first bystanders to come across a crash involving a BC Transit bus and SUV at the intersection of Enterprise Way and Dilworth Drive.

The bus had careened onto her side of the road while the SUV was a short distance away, crumpled, with its airbags deployed and horn blaring. 

Because there were already people helping the driver of the SUV, Ball ran up to the driver-side window of the bus, asking the driver if he was OK.

The driver responded with a groan that he wasn’t sure, so, she jumped onboard. At the rear of the bus was a person who appeared to be unconscious and was being helped by others.

Ball’s attention turned to another woman in her late 20s or early 30s, in the aisle, screaming and holding her face. 

“So I took my sweater off and put it against her head and sat there with her,” Ball said, explaining she stayed with the woman until paramedics arrived and she started to help her to an ambulance.

“I gathered all her things, and as I got to the ambulance, I felt like a jolt in my leg. I said ‘ow, something just poked me,’ and she’s like 'oh my god I’m so sorry,'” Ball said. 

“So I opened the front of the bag and I found a used needle, with blood in it and tip bent. It was poking out of the bag and poked my leg.”

Ball said she immediately “had a melt down” and ran to the paramedics, who told her to go straight to the hospital. 

“They got me in right away, they were really really good,” Ball said.

The emergency room staff told her that the woman whose needle poked Ball had recently had a blood test negative for HIV and hepatitis. The woman had been rushed to hospital herself with major injuries to her eye area. 

Regardless, hospital staff still pulled Ball’s blood and told her to make an appointment for a week from now to obtain results. 

“I feel like I’m still in shock,” Ball said Saturday morning, exasperated. “Who the hell would have expected that?”

"BC Transit is aware of a vehicle incident on Enterprise Way Friday evening, and is supporting the investigation by Kelowna RCMP," BC Transit said in a statement to Castanet.

"As it is an active police investigation, further details will need to come from the Kelowna RCMP. BC Transit will undertake an internal investigation as part of our standard safety protocol."

The Kelowna RCMP has not responded to request for comment.

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