Crystal Brunson, who turns 25 Wednesday, began her birthday celebrations early Tuesday with an unexpected group of admirers — dozens of Boynton Beach police officers and, more importantly, the man whose life she helped save in October.
Brunson, of Boynton Beach, was one of several “local heroes” honored with life-saving awards for their roles in aiding Angel Soto, the Boynton Beach security officer whose legs were pinned between two cars after he was trying to help the victim of a separate traffic collision Oct. 29.
It was Brunson who took Soto’s wife to Delray Medical Center and sat with the woman for hours while doctors operated on Soto after the crash. Soto lost his right leg and fractured his left. He was released from the hospital Thanksgiving Day and is now undergoing rehabilitation.
For Brunson, who said Tuesday it was the first time in her life she had ever gotten out of her car to help anyone involved in a crash, seeing Soto’s leg get crushed was like a scene from a television show. But she does not regret helping him.
“I hope it’s the last time I ever have to see anything like that, but it’s pretty awesome (to be recognized),” Brunson said.
Besides Brunson, the Boynton Beach Police Department also honored Soto for helping Boynton resident Alex Proscurshim, who had crashed his Nissan Titan into another truck on Old Boynton Road. Soto went to his aid, and as he was checking the inside of the truck for other injured passengers, a Porsche heading eastbound hit the truck, pinning Soto between two vehicles.
Proscurshim, who was not injured, was also honored for trying to save Soto’s right leg. Police said he used his long-sleeved shirt to tie it around Soto’s thigh to help stop the bleeding, and told Soto to hang on while rescue crews arrived.
Police also awarded Susan Carson, who helped Proscurshim. Carson was not at Tuesday’s ceremony.