Searching for the ‘angels’ who saved his life


SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Jim Hunnicutt’s quest to find a couple of lifesaving nurses starts with a morning bike ride, a little more than nine years ago on the South County bike trail.

It was April 21 when Hunnicutt was peddling about two miles into a planned 12-mile ride.

“It wasn’t crowded that day,” Hunnicutt recalled.

The only two people he saw were a couple of runners, one blonde and one brunette, both in their 30’s near a beaver dam, next to a bridge over White Horn Brook.

“The first two people I saw and the last two people I saw,” he said.

“I got like 50 yards past them,” Hunnicutt said.

The crash was sudden and violent.

“I just come to a complete stop. The bike swung around, 180 degrees,” he recalled.

His 250-pound body came crashing down on the asphalt, with his right elbow breaking the fall.

“It was a compound fracture,” Hunnicutt recalled. “The blood was everywhere.”

The cause turned out to be the handwarmer colored with the logo of his beloved Minnesota Vikings that slipped off the handlebars and jammed between the front tire and the fork of the bike.

Hunnicutt thought he was going to bleed to death, but remember those two women he had just passed?

They came running to help.

“They told me they were nurses,” Hunnicutt said.

The women stopped the bleeding with bungee cords to keep him alive until the ambulance came.

He often thinks about what would’ve happened if they weren’t there.

“I’m probably up there with my mom and pops. Up in the high blue heaven,” he said.
Hunnicutt never regained complete use of his right arm that he now keeps his circulation going by squeezing a blue, rubber ball, just about all the time.

The police incident report did not include the nurses’ names, so Hunnicutt never got to say thank you.

“These two ladies,” Hunnicutt said with a smile. “Who are they and God please let’s find these two women?”

If they finally come forward?

“First, I’ll probably just give them a big hug,” he said. “Because if it wasn’t for them, I’d probably not be talking to you guys.”

He does not remember whether or not they had Rhode Island accents and also doesn’t recall what their faces looked like.

But he hopes they remember and come forward.

“Wouldn’t you want to say thank you to the people who saved your life?” he said.

Email Walt at with your story ideas and follow us on Twitter: @StreetStories12 and @wbuteau.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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