Teen interested in medicine hailed a hero

Posted at 4:26 AM, Apr 27, 2017

A teenager is being called a hero after helping save a man's life.

Jacob Phillippi, 17, was on his way to an after school event in late January when he drove up to a crash. He did not witness it, but pulled over to help. The crash happened at Kathleen Road and Sleepy Hill Road in Polk County.

"My dad rides bikes and if my dad was involved in a motorcycle accident, I would want anyone else to stop," Phillippi said.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the driver of a motor home pulled out in front of a motorcycle. The motorcyclist, Adam Birk, was ejected. The driver of the motor home was cited for "failure to yield right of way, while making a left turn".

"I don't remember nothing," Birk said.

Birk suffered serious injuries. He was hospitalized for a little more than 3 weeks. He said he continues to recover from his injuries.

"I'm doing good, I think, compared to what I should be," Birk said.

Birk found out today Phillippi helped save his life. Phillippi hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon one day.

"I'm a junior right now at Kathleen. I've been doing the medical academy there since my freshman year," he said.

"It made me feel good. It made me feel like there's still hope for society that this new generation there is some good going on," Birk said.

Phillippi said more help arrived within 5 to 10 minutes.

"I supported his neck and Sgt. went to his squad car and got an AED," Phillippi described.

He continued, "He kept wanting to go home and then I just kept saying relax 'cause he kept moving his legs from fire and rescue, when they were working on him," Phillippi said.

Birk said he can't thank Phillippi enough for what he did for him.

"To thank him personally, made me feel good, because you don't get that opportunity in life," Birk said.

Phillippi said he wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

"I would stop again. I'(d) stop for anyone that needed my help," Phillippi said.

On Monday, Phillippi will be recognized by the sheriff's office for helping save Birk's life. Phillippi said he doesn't deserve all the credit and believes everyone, who helped, should be recognized.