Squealing tires were the last thing 29-year-old Manuel Dennis of Prince George's County remembered before a car slammed into his left leg and severed it yesterday as he was trying to assist the driver of a car broken down on Landover Road near the Capital Centre.
"I didn't want to look down . . . I knew it was gone . . . In only wanted someone to put a tourniquet on me," said Dennis, a Vietnam veteran who has spent the last nine years in the Army.
Fighting back surges of pain from just below his left knee, Dennis explained how a stranger saved his life. "He stopped when no one else seemed to know what to do. He put a tourniquet on my leg and flagged down a car for help," Dennis said.
The accident occurred Thursday at 9:15 p.m. on Landover Road near Arena Drive, according to Prince George's police.
PPolice said Dennis had pulled his car to the side of the road behind a disabled auto driven by Larry Chambers, 25, of Baltimore.
It was only a few minutes later, after Dennis discovered he could not help Chambers, that he decided to get flares out of his car's trunk and take Chambers to a gas station, police said.
Dennis went to the rear of his car where a station wagon slammed into him.
Police said the car was driven by Larry R. Rish, 21, of 6809 Walke Rd., Friendship, who was charged with failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
Dennis said the accident has left him with "no plans."
"I was just about to leave to go to Germany," Dennis explained, adding that he had been taking German lessons twice a week in preparation for his three-year transfer to an Army base near the French border.
"I have many more friends than I thought," said Dennis who has only one relative - his mother, who lives in Florida.
As he spoke over the telephone yesterday from Prince George's County Hospital, was briefly interrupted by friends who had stoppec in to visit him.
"I guess this means no more Army for me," said S/Sgt. Dennis. He ended the conversation by saying that he would adjust to his injury.
He is to be transferred to Walter Reed Hospital in the District today.