Lawrence nurse honored for helping hit and run victim

Lawrence Nurse Honored

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — One Lawrence nurse found himself in a scary situation last week after witnessing a hit and run, but immediately rose to the occasion.

Wednesday night the Lawrence police and fire chiefs honored the man for his compassion at the city council meeting.

“I’ve dealt with some scenarios, but never anything as intense as this,” Licensed Practical Nurse Brian Canter said.

Last Monday, Canter was just driving through Lawrence doing some shopping, when he heard a violent car wreck.

“I heard the impact and turned around and that’s when I saw the car go flying by,” he said.

Mervin Smith was riding his bike and was hit by a car.

The driver, who was wanted by police for a different crime, fled the scene.

But Canter rushed to Smith’s side.

“When I immediately saw him I just pulled over, I just felt compelled to try to see what I could do, if anything at all,” Canter said.

Smith’s injuries were too severe for Canter to save him, but Canter didn’t leave.

“I saw a blanket that was lying next to him and I covered him up with the blanket just out of respect,” he said.

For his care and compassion in a time of crisis, the police and fire chiefs of Lawrence awarded him at city council Wednesday night.

“I know he didn’t do it for recognition, he did it because he’s a genuinely good human being who cares about his fellow man, but you know it’s a small token that we can give a little recognition,” Lawrence Police Chief David Hofmann said.

“I’m pleased to meet one of these citizens that is doing good out there,” Lawrence Fire Chief Dino Batalis said.

Canter stayed with Smith until public safety officials took over.

To the police chief, that action deserves praise.

“Mr. Smith did not die alone in the cold and the snow,” Hofmann said, “He had a fellow human being with him.”

Canter accepted the award with humility.

“I didn’t do anything that any nurse or EMS personnel wouldn’t do,” Canter said.

Hofmann and Batalis also told the city council members at the meeting Wednesday night that they plan to make these citizenship awards more common in Lawrence.

They want to make sure people are recognized for outstanding good deeds more often.

To help with Smith’s final arrangements click here.

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