News, Operations, Trauma

Long Recovery Looms for Oklahoma EMSA Medic Struck on Slick Highway

TULSA, Okla. — An off-duty EMSA medic who was struck by a pickup after he stopped on a highway to help a motorist likely will be off work for at least four weeks, according to information released Wednesday.

The Emergency Medical Services Authority has identified the paramedic who was injured Tuesday as Matt Ruskoski, 23, a Tulsa native and recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma.

He joined EMSA in January.

Ruskoski had just finished his shift about 6:50 a.m. Tuesday when he saw a car hydroplane on the wet road and crash in the eastbound lanes of the Broken Arrow Expressway near the Yale Avenue exit.

He stopped to check on the motorists.

Moments later, a small pickup careened across the slick highway and skidded into the first car, sending it crashing into him, EMSA spokeswoman Tina Wells said in a statement.

The injured paramedic called 911 for help. Other EMSA paramedics arrived within minutes, treated him at the scene and transported him to St. John Medical Center.

Ruskoski had a broken left leg, soft tissue damage to his right knee, and is “sore all over,” the statement said.

Surgeons have advised him not to bear any weight on his left leg for at least four weeks.

At that time, they will determine whether surgery will be required, Wells said.

Despite the injuries, Ruskoski doesn’t regret stopping to help the motorist and is eager to return to work.

“I’m mad that I’ll have to be off for a while,” he said, according to the news release. “But I’m doing OK. I was really lucky, considering how it happened.”

Ruskoski urges motorists to drive cautiously, especially in inclement weather.

“When the roads get wet, they really need to slow down,” he said.