ODESSA, TX (KWES) - An elderly patient was found in the middle of the street near 5th Street and Golder Avenue in Odessa on Tuesday night.
Elisa Pierce was driving to work near Medical Center Hospital when she noticed an alarming sight, the elderly man was sitting in the street in his wheelchair.
"I'm like, 'Oh my god. You are in the middle of the street. You are going to get hurt,"' said Pierce.
Pierce said everyone was driving around the man and not stopping to help. She made a quick decision to park illegally to wheel the man to safety.
"My instincts were he was going to either roll his wheel chair towards my vehicle or he was going to get hit by the other vehicle to my left lane," said Pierce.
Pierce wheeled the man onto the sidewalk near the hospital. She said he seemed a little disoriented. She then notified a hospital staff member about the incident.
"Our police department was notified by one of our staff members, 'Just as an FYI. There's somebody in the street out there.' So we sent an officer over there," said Ector County Hospital District Police Chief Brad Timmons. "When the officers got there, he was actually on the curb and he was fine."
Timmons said this particular patient was deemed competent to care for himself by his doctor. The hospital staff does keep an eye on patients but they are not required to stay in their rooms or even inside of the hospital.
"I just saw a lot of red flags. If that was my brother, father, mother," Pierce said.
"If the physician has deemed them competent and there's no mental incapacities, then legally we cannot hold them. It's not good for our patients to hold them in their rooms," said Timmons.
Timmons said they actually encourage patients to get out and get some fresh air, but officers are always patrolling the area, especially Golder Avenue, to make sure their patients are being safe.