Tina, the Life Saver


Back in 2005 on highway 280 Tina Phu was faced with a life and death situation. She was sitting on the front passenger side of a car while other passengers sat in the back. They were driving in the very left lane at around 11:00 pm. It was really dark and there were not many cars on the highway. The car was going about 60 mph when all of a sudden she noticed a dead car in front of them with the driver standing in front of it. The driver of her car was distracted by the passengers sitting in the back. At the very last second she pulled the steering wheel to the right, causing the car that she was in to swerve into the next lane. This action prevented a car crash that would’ve happened if she hadn’t done what she did. This action also saved a person standing outside. 

Her fiance, Minh Phu was the one driving the car during this event (whom she is currently married to now). They met each other in high school and dated for 10 years.  They went to the same college at San Jose State University and both graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree with a concentration in MIS (Management Information Systems) together. They have been married for 16 years and have two girls, ages 12 and 8. They each work for two high tech companies in Sunnyvale, California. 

“Everything happened so quickly during that incident,” Tina said. “As soon as I turned the steering wheel to swerve into the next lane, Minh pulled the steering wheel back and put us back into the far left lane, just barely missing the stalled car. He gave me a strange look and did not realize what I was doing or why I pulled on the steering wheel.”

“Only a few seconds later did he realize it was because of the stalled car since it was so dark and he did not see it in time. The car did not have its emergency lights on.” They drove on to the pool hall to meet their friend and tell him about what just happened. His response was “If I ever need someone to drive my car it’ll be you,” pointing to Tina. 

Who knows what would have happened if it wasn’t for the split decision for Tina to pull the steering wheel. Not only could her and her friends be gravely injured but the life of a stranger could have been lost in the incident. This could affect everyone involved for the rest of their lives and their future. This is why she is my unassuming hero.