Taxi Driver Saves Teen in Oil Pump Accident


Monday, February 9th 2009, 6:34 pm
By: News 9


"I FELT THAT WAS MY PLACE AND TIME TO BE THERE... AND IF I WASN'T THERE HE WOULD NOT BE LIVING RIGHT NOW."

-Freddie Hopkins, taxi driver who helped save the teen

By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A teenage boy lost an arm after becoming trapped in an oil pumping jack.

The family has not released the teen's name or condition, but the boy is alive after a taxi driver helped save him.

On Sunday, the boy and his friend climbed into a fenced off area near NW 104 Street and Hudson Avenue to ride a pumping jack. The 17-year-old got caught in the machine and was unable to free himself.

The teen's friend ran to a nearby road and flagged down the taxi driver who then turned the pump off and called 911.

"I was coming down the street and I saw this little boy come out and flag me down saying his friend was stuck," taxi driver Freddie Hopkins said. "I thought somebody was just playing."

After emergency crews arrived and realized they could not free the teen, a doctor was called to the scene to perform an amputation of one of the boy's arms.

In 1993, a 12-year-old died at an oil facility. His mother, Ellen Jenkins now strives to educate children on the dangers of playing near oil machinery.

"If you keep hearing about these kids that are getting killed, what does that tell you?" Jenkins said. "The answer really is education."

She established a Web site to honor her son. The Oklahoma Education Resources Board also teaches children about the dangers.

Hopkins, the taxi driver that saved the boy, said he hopes to meet the boy's family and check on the condition of the boy.