10 years after tragic accident, local Medic still making strides

10 years after tragic accident, local Medic still making strides


by ANN SHERIDAN / NBC Charlotte Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheridanWCNC


Posted on January 22, 2013 at 7:52 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 23 at 7:32 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wednesday will mark the 10-year anniversary of Medic Tim Hayes' tragic accident  that took both his legs. 

The Charlotte paramedic was answering a call on Interstate 77, near Davidson, during a severe winter storm.  A tractor-trailer lost control in the January 23rd storm and caused a chain reaction. 

“That truck hit the ambulance and then the car, and poor Tim,” said Hayes’ partner that day, Bobby Suarez.

Hayes' Medic truck was hit, pinning him against a guard rail and severing both his legs.  He spent the next several years in rehab,  learning to walk and drive using prosthetic legs.

Today Hayes is on a mission to remind drivers of the importance of looking out for emergency workers and vehicles.

Over the last decade we’ve brought you Hayes’ story of hope.  And his desire to walk again.

“That’s how you fall,” he showed NBC Charlotte.  “Then you get up and keep going,” he said.

Hayes spent last week showing his children Unit 13, the ambulance he once drove.  And he reminisced about the place he still misses. 

“Yes, I loved it.  It was a big part of my life,” he said, then paused as he looked around the unit.

His wife admits it’s been a struggle at times.

“You know, it’s still very hard.  It’s still very hard every day to be in our situation, just tolerate the loss,” said Susan Hayes.

Hayes has kept a positive outlook.

“Thankfully technology has advanced.  I can do things with my children, like shoot bows, do archery and hunt.  God’s grace  has been with us,” he said.

Hayes is promoting the state’s “Move it over” law, which mandates that drivers slow down and move over when they see emergency vehicles responding on the street.