Man who stopped to help officer killed in motorcycle wreck recounts ordeal

Karl Howard (WAFB)
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - “The only time I remember in my mind right now is 2:37, and the reason why I remember 2:37 is because that’s exactly when we started to do the CPR, and somebody said, ‘Tell me what time it is,'” said Karl Howard.

Howard saw everything.

He was on his way to work Friday afternoon when he turned onto Jones Creek Road. He immediately witnessed a black truck making a left turn directly into the path of Cpl. Shane Totty on his BRPD motorcycle. Karl ran over to help, along with two other women. One happened to be a paramedic.

“I pulled his shirt off and his vest, and then they commenced to doing the things that they needed to do, and at that moment all I could do was start praying,” said Howard.

But Howard never stopped praying. He prayed as first responders loaded corporal Totty into the ambulance. He prayed as he watched deputies shut down the road and begin their investigation. He stood on Jones Creek Road for over an hour, never stopping his pleas to God.

“Sometimes, we’ll see things like this and just go around it and act as if, oh something happened, keep going, but you know, for me it was about the compassion of seeing another human being, it was about just the love that I have for people, period, that made me say, ‘OK Karl stop. Karl, do something,’” Howard said.

His thoughts quickly turned to the corporal’s family. He imagined the calls that were going out: news of a terrible accident that would change one young family forever.

“I just want to tell them keep their head up, you know. I understand in these times, sometimes we just want to give up on life, give up, just not understanding, but just want to let her know to lean closer to God in these moments, allow God to comfort her,” Howard said.

A complete stranger who came along at a tragic moment in time, Howard hopes his decision to stop and pray will comfort the Totty family as they mourn and heal.

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