ISU faculty member saved by two Blackfoot residents

Dan Cravens

Dan Cravens

By Logan Ramsey, lramsey@journalnet.com

BLACKFOOT — After Dan Cravens pulled to the side of the road in anaphylactic shock last week, two men stepped in and helped save his life.

On Friday, Cravens was taking his son, Dan Cravens II, and his daughter, Allison, to their baseball games. On their way, they stopped at a Blackfoot convenience store and bought some pumpkin seeds.

Dan Cravens then dropped his son off at a practice before the baseball game and began to feel extremely sick after eating some of the seeds.

Soon, Cravens had an allergic reaction and went into anaphylactic shock and became unconscious while driving. He doesn’t remember what happened after he attempted to drive home, but he was able to pull his car off partway into a grassy area near the ballfields.

That when Rasael Jimenez, a Parks and Recreation employee for the city of Blackfoot, and his cousin, Tomas Torres, came to the rescue. They noticed the car partially parked on the grass and came over to investigate.

“I actually came pretty close to dying,” said Cravens, a teacher at the Idaho State University College of Business. “I’m just very grateful to Tomas and Rasael for following that sense that they needed to check and see what was going on.”

Torres and Jimenez came over to the car and found Cravens slumped over the wheel with his daughter in the back seat. The key was out of the ignition, but the vehicle had been left in gear.

“She (Allison) didn’t know what was going on,” Torres said. “She didn’t know what to think. She was distraught.”

Jimenez prompted Allison to unlock the car and then helped her safely exit the vehicle. He then unlocked the car for Torres.

“I was trying to squeeze his hand and see if I could get something out of him, but he was out,” Torres said.

Jimenez pushed Cravens’ head up and leaned him back so he wouldn’t have any blocked airways. Then he called Blackfoot emergency dispatch, and an ambulance arrived within three to five minutes to transport Cravens to Bingham Memorial Hospital.

“I was in pretty bad shape is what I was told and that if assistance hadn’t been rendered quickly, it would have been a strong likelihood that I would have died,” Cravens said.

Cravens never flatlined and he didn’t have a near-death experience, but he said the accident still felt surreal.

“The first thought that was going through my mind was, ‘Is this really happening?’ It was almost like you’re in a dream, and you’re trying to figure out if you’re in a dream or not,” he said. “The second thought I had was that I was really glad that I bought extra life insurance. And I’m not joking when I say that, because I was thinking about my wife and kids.

Cravens continued, “And the third thing I had across my mind was a strong sense that everything would be OK one way or another.”

Cravens believes that what prompted Jimenez and Torres to check his vehicle last Friday was the result of divine intervention.

“My personal belief is that they might have been prompted by the Holy Ghost to check in and see what’s going on, and I’m really grateful for that,” he said. “It’s just given me a sense of being looked out for by my heavenly father.

Cravens has since fully recovered from his reaction to the pumpkin seeds, which is news that Torres and Jimenez are grateful to hear.

“If somebody pulls over to the side of the road, it doesn’t hurt to pull over and make sure they’re OK,” Torres said.

As for Allison, Cravens said his daughter is just happy that the outcome turned out positive.

“She’s been giving me a lot of hugs lately and is just happy to still have her dad,” Cravens said.