This man thought on his feet, took action, and saved a life.
A manager of Boeing's F22 fighter-jet program, Innes dodged the truck, then looked back to see that the driver was slumped over the wheel. He knew a busy intersection was just ahead, and he had to act fast. Without consulting the passengers in his minivan — "there was no time to take a vote" — Innes kicked into engineer mode.
"Basic physics: If I could get in front of him and let him hit me, the delta difference in speed would just be a few miles an hour, and we could slow down together," Innes explained.
So he pulled in front of the pickup, allowed it to rear-end his minivan and brought both vehicles safely to a stop in the pull-off lane.
Some might say the driver of the truck, 80-year-old Bill Pace, of Bellevue, and anyone Pace's truck might have slammed into had luck on their side that day. A retiree who volunteers for Special Olympics and organizes food drives, Pace didn't know it at the time, but he'd had a minor heart attack two days earlier and his circulation was so poor he passed out at the wheel with his foot resting on the accelerator.
But those who know Pace best don't see his rescue as luck so much as an example of "what goes around comes around." And Innes, who met Pace for the first time since the incident over dinner with their wives Monday night at a Bellevue restaurant, believes that, too.
"For all the good that he's done, he's probably deserving of a few extra lives," said Innes, who talked for hours with Pace about their shared interest in aviation and their family ties to Yakima Valley.
State Farm, Pace's insurance company, covered the roughly $3,500 in damage to Innes' car, and a claim representative sent Innes a letter of appreciation this summer.
"We wish to thank you for the actions you took to save Bill's life," State Farm's Clayton Ande wrote. "State Farm and the Pace family consider you to be a hero. I wish there were more people like you in the world."
Most of us will never have the opportunity for an act such as this that makes the news. But, we can save others in a way that is even more important. We can lead others to Christ and his Church and help rescue a sinner from eternal death.
Who has God put in your life in the hope that you will be the instrument of God's salvation?