An East Texas woman spoke exclusively with CBS 19's Sasha Wilson about the moments she said she pulled over to comfort an injured woman lying on the side of the road, after police said she lunged in front of an 18-wheeler.
On Monday, July 3, Kimberly Guice said she was driving on Hwy 69 just north of Loop 323 to pick up her father, who had been let out early from the hospital.
She said it happened so fast, she almost did not even know what she saw. To her horror, the 36-year-old woman jumped in front of an oncoming rig. Many drove by, but something told her she was desperately needed.
"My heart dropped, I went into a pure panic,” Guice said. “I ran across the highway in flip flops as fast as I could. My whole body was shaking. I’ve never witnessed anything like that before, I was crying.”
The woman she thought was dead was still breathing so she knelt down beside and took her in her arms, trying to comfort her in any way she could.
"Like I do my children, I caressed her back and told her it was going to be okay, that help was on the way," Guice said.
She was taken back to a time in her life where she too, was in a very similar situation.
"I am a suicide survivor. I tried to commit suicide 20 years ago and at that moment, whenever you try to commit suicide you have no hope left in your life,” Guice said. “I reached out at the very last minute when I tried to commit suicide and I instantly regretted it."
As the woman laid there with her eyes open but not seeing, Guice prayed for the stranger’s peace, healing, and for hope.
"I truly feel like God saved me back then,” Guice said. “I felt like I was there because I came through that to be there for her at that moment.”
When medics transported the woman, Guice turned her attention to the truck driver, who had come running to the injured woman immediately after it happened.
Guice said the man was in such shock, he could barely stand. He squatted by the woman’s side, trembling and apologizing with tears in his eyes.
“She just jumped out in front of me,” he kept repeating. “I’m so sorry, I couldn’t stop.”
Guice assured him over and over, it was not his fault and that there was nothing he could have done.
“I felt so bad for him,” Guice said. “He was so devastated. I could tell his life had just passed before his eyes but I can’t imagine what all was going through his head. He sat squatted there with his hands on his knees, looking at her.”
She took his hand and prayed with him too, asking for peace in his heart.
Guice said she has thought about both the woman and the truck driver constantly since it happened. She hopes to keep up with the woman and to find the truck driver, to let them know they are not alone.
The woman remains hospitalized at ETMC where she is in critical condition according to Tyler Police.
Later that day, authorities asked the public’s help identifying her. One of her family members saw CBS 19’s Facebook post and as a result, police successfully identified the woman.
CBS 19 does not identify victims of suicide or those who attempt suicide, but we wanted to share this story in the hopes that it would help someone else.
Guice said she hopes this story will take away some of stigma associated with suicide.
"So many people call suicide selfish," Guice said. "But when you are so depressed that you are not in your right mind, you simply cannot push through to another day. You truly believe that there is no hope."
If you or anyone you know have thoughts of suicide, there is help available. Just call the suicide hot line at 1-800-273-8255.