Wichita teen credited as hero for helping injured friend, former teammate after crash
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A weekend car wreck near K-254 and Webb Road put two Wichita teenagers in a unique situation. A drunken driver crashed into one of the teen’s cars, leaving the teen trapped, injured, and unconscious. That’s when the teen’s childhood friend and former teammate stepped up to help save him.
Wichita East High School made plenty of big plays last fall, but Aces head coach Ene Akpan said one of the biggest plays he’s seen happened off of the field last weekend.
“The culture was put on full display Saturday night in a way that has little to do with Xs and Os,” Akpan said of Tavi Agnew’s effort to help an injured Darius Cooper.
“Tavi has always been a kid that does the right thing, but when you do the right thing in that fashion, I think people need to know about it,” Akpan said.
A group of friends was traveling in two cars on Webb Road and K-254 when a drunk driver crashed into one of them. In a different car, Agnew, now a freshman at Butler Community College, noticed that the second part of the friends’ caravan was gone. He turned around immediately and found the crash.
“I didn’t ask any questions, I just told everybody to move out of the way,” he said. “I grabbed his legs and got him out.”
Agnew and Cooper have been friends for years, going back to little-league football. The crash left Cooper unconscious and trapped in the car, injured with broken bones. Agnew said he couldn’t leave family behind.
“We’ve always been close over the years and he is like family,” Agnew said.
In his first year at Butler Community College, Agnew’s coach said he wasn’t surprised to hear about the teen’s selfless effort.
“You get in those situations and ask, ‘what would I have done?’” Butler CC Head Football Coach Tim Schaffner said. “You hope you would respond to that, but being in that situation and having it be a friend of yours, and to be able to react that quickly and that selflessly, that’s huge.”
Reflecting on the crash, Agnew said he was just doing the right thing.
“I don’t think I’m a hero or anything,” he said. “I think any other person would do it, whether it’s (their) friend or not. I would do it for anyone else. It’s just being a good citizen.”
Cooper is recovering from his injuries and said he is in good spirits as he looks forward to brighter days ahead. He has a scholarship to Hutchinson Community College, a rival to Butler. Agnew said he talks with Cooper every day and is thankful that his childhood friend, former teammate, and future rival on the field is going to be okay.
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