Red Light Rescue: Airline at East Texas, a time-killing intersection in Bossier City, proves to be a lifesaver

The Good Stuff: Red Light Rescue

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) — Bossier City’s Airline Drive is is one of the busiest roads in the ArkLaTex.

Not many drivers look forward to driving Airline during the morning or afternoon commute, mainly because it’s often packed with traffic.

"For some reason that day, I decided to take Airline," admits Kendra Kempen, recalling the morning of July 25 while headed to a doctor's appointment.

“I ended up getting stopped at the light at East Texas Street.”

And never in a million red lights would this married, mother of two have expected what happened next.

"As the light was getting ready to turn green, I felt a bump."

Kendra had been hit from behind. It wasn’t a hard hit, but enough for her to get out and check for damage.

What caught her attention, however, was the driver of the car behind her.

“She just had her head resting back and her eyes closed.”

Kendra Kempen, Jane Wood and others gather around the car of Janis Castine at the intersection of Airline Drive and East Texas Street.
Kendra Kempen, Jane Wood and others gather around the car of Janis Castine at the intersection of Airline Drive and East Texas Street.

For a moment, Kendra thought the driver was merely reacting to her disappointment of being involved in a crash.

But her fears quickly worsened.

"So I knocked on her window and said, 'Ma'am, Ma'am, are you OK?' But she didn't respond," says Kendra.

Within seconds, the driver of the car in the next lane over also got out of her vehicle.

"I immediately got out because I saw she was trying to get the lady's attention," explains Jane Wood, a home health administrator who was headed to work.

Jane joined Kendra and two others who were knocking on the car's windows and yelling out to the driver of the car, Janis Castine.

All the doors were locked because the car still was in drive.

"I started panicking," admits Kendra.

“Her respiration was getting slower and slower.”

Jane called 911 and first responders quickly were dispatched to that location.

But within seconds of making that call, Bossier City officer Michael Iman suddenly arrived on the scene.

He had been parked nearby when someone reported what was happening in the middle of the busy intersection.

Days after the incident, Jane and Officer Iman visited Janis to see how she was doing.

Nurse Jane Wood and Bossier City police officer Michael Iman visit with Janis Castine after her release from the hospital.
Nurse Jane Wood and Bossier City police officer Michael Iman visit with Janis Castine after her release from the hospital.

"They said someone broke the glass," says Janis, who remembers nothing about that day.

“I had to break it,” Officer Iman explains with a smile.

"That's fine, no problem," says Janis.

Using his handcuffs in his fist, the officer punched out the back driver’s side window and was able to get Janis out of the car.

But their concern was far from over.

"Now what part did you play?", Janis asks of Jane.

“I started CPR,” answers Jane, who along with Officer Iman continued CPR and applying shocks with an AED defibrillator for many minutes until firefighters and EMS arrived.

"We made a pretty good team," brags the officer.

Janis spent days in the hospital before being released to go back home.

"If they hadn't gotten her out of the car and started CPR immediately, she wouldn't have made it," explains Dr. Dirk Rainwater, Jane's boss at Louisiana Family Medicine Clinic.

Dr. Rainwater is proud of the actions of his employee, but also elated that she unknowingly saved the life of a family member.

Janis is Dr. Rainwater's second cousin.

“It wasn’t my time yet,” Janis says with a smile.

"It's God's miracle. I know it is."

On Aug. 21, Officer Iman was honored by the Bossier City Council for his lifesaving efforts in helping save Janis’ life.

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