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May 31, 2020

5/13/2020 3:00:00 PM
Family counting blessings and giving thanks for living here in North Vernon
Rescue 20 EMT Tracy Jones reunites with Ellis Rodriguez Monday afternoon to sign the 10-year-old’s cast. Joining the two on the back porch are Ellis’ sister Isabel, 16, and mom Rachel. The boy had his bicycle accident right in front of Jones’ home. In fact, he slammed into Tracy and her husband Jeff’s truck. Not pictured are Ellis’ brother Max and dad Andrew.
+ click to enlarge
Rescue 20 EMT Tracy Jones reunites with Ellis Rodriguez Monday afternoon to sign the 10-year-old’s cast. Joining the two on the back porch are Ellis’ sister Isabel, 16, and mom Rachel. The boy had his bicycle accident right in front of Jones’ home. In fact, he slammed into Tracy and her husband Jeff’s truck. Not pictured are Ellis’ brother Max and dad Andrew.
Tracy does the honors and signs Ellis’ cast. He’ll eventually transition out of the full cast and have a walking cast for a few months. —Staff Photos by Barbara King
+ click to enlarge
Tracy does the honors and signs Ellis’ cast. He’ll eventually transition out of the full cast and have a walking cast for a few months. —Staff Photos by Barbara King
A 10-year-old boy's accident has given a local family a fresh appreciation of what it's like living in a small town.

May 2 was a normal Saturday afternoon over on Oakridge Drive and Ellis Rodriguez, 10, and his brother Max, 12, were biking around their neighborhood. When Max called their mom, Rachel, around 3 p.m. to ask permission to bike up the Norris Avenue sidewalk, she told them "No." Instead, the boys opted to bicycle in the Long Street area.

Then, coming down Long, the bikes got going too fast. Ellis hit gravel in front of Tracy and Jeff Jones' home and before you knew it, wrecked his bike, hitting the Jones' truck and sliding underneath.

"I hit the truck, but my bike still had speed," explains Ellis. Immediately, he was screaming in pain. "I knew my leg was broken. It hurt so much."

As luck would have it, Tracy is the chief EMT at Rescue 20. She heard a crash and rushed outside to check what had happened. Neighbors Jennifer George and Shannon Baugess were outside and had come running to help the boy.

Tracy said, "I immediately knew he had a fracture and called an ambulance."

As far as she could determine, Ellis had hit the Dodge Ram's bumper and broken his femur, the strongest bone in the body. Oddly enough, the wreck didn't leave a dent on the truck.

North Vernon Police officers Seth Beville and Andrew Richmond were first on the scene, followed by Rescue 20. As the EMTs worked to stabilize the leg and get Ellis on the way to Schneck Medical Center, Sgt. Richmond talked one-on-one to the boy.

"He talked to my son and got his mind off the pain. The police officers were phenomenal," says Rachel.

"It was crazy how the accident happened right in front of Tracy's house. As terrible as it was, it couldn't have gone any better. Everything worked perfect."

"Ellis was a real trooper," sums up Tracy. "I know grown men who'd have been screaming their heads off from the pain."

Ellis was eventually transferred to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis where he underwent surgery the next morning. He is expected to recover fully, although it will take around four months for the break to fully heal.

The family is counting their blessings that their son will be fine and also considering themselves pretty lucky to be living in North Vernon.

"All these people, they were all asking 'What can we do? What do you need?' It was wonderful," sums up Rachel.

"It was everything you want a small town to be. Professional but close, real close knit. Everyone taking care of one another."





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