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Deputies use muzzle to rescue man after motorcycle accident

MEDINA, Ohio – A bandage on the left arm of Tyler Mills partially covers a tattoo that reads “Ride or Die.”

The irony is not lost on the 24-year-old man when he thinks of his close conversation with death after a motorcycle accident in Lafayette Township.

Mills believes he is alive thanks to two Medina County deputies who happened to arrive at the crash site on the evening of March 16th.

“By the grace of God, I do not even believe it’s a coincidence. Someone was watching me that day,” Mills said during a reunion with the deputies of the Medina County Sheriff’s Office. “This really, really gives the meaning of never taking anything for granted, and you should always live your life as if it were your last day.”

Just before 7 p.m., Mills hit the gravel on Ryan Road and his motorcycle slipped, leading to a serious accident. Investigators do not believe speed was a factor in the crash.

“I ended up flying about 40 feet through the air and when I got up again I was in a shock,” he said.

He was bleeding profusely due to a laceration going to the bone and a torn artery.

His fiance, who was driving behind Mills in a truck, stopped and tried to use a belt as a mouthpiece.

Moments later, deputies Paul Demko and Yevgeniy Koval – who were on their way to another call in Seville – discovered the wreck. Saving Mills became their priority.

“It was clear that someone had been injured. The motorcycle was down and the man was just holding his left arm. You could see that it was really clear that it was bleeding,” Koval said.

Koval quickly told Demko that he should use a muzzle on Mills. Demko demonstrated his actions during an interview with News 5.

“It’s a velcro strap and put as much pressure as you can and it has anchor winch and you just twist the anchor winch until it just tightens and tightens and tightens up,” Demko said.

Mills was rushed to Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital, where doctors told him the helmet and tourniquet were the difference between life and death.

“They told me the deputies certainly saved me, because if they had not done and acted as they did when they did, it would have been a different outcome,” Mills said.

Both deputies are grateful that Mills survived and said they relied on their training in the critical moments following the motorcycle accident.

“You have to be in the right place at the right time, and that was the time and the right place to be there – the S-curve on Ryan Road, so I’m really happy that we saved his life,” Koval said.

While Mills considers deputies to be his heroes, they do not see it that way.

“It’s just part of the day,” Demko said. “We get to work, we have no idea what to expect. It’s just part of the job.”

Mills, a Marine Corps veteran working for the county with building maintenance, bought some gifts for the deputies when he returned to work in April. Mills and some of his motorcycle mates are also planning to buy a dozen tourniquets over the next few weeks and then donate them to the Medina County Sheriff’s Office.

“I mean, what are the odds that something like this will happen and that the two deputies will be there?” said Mills. “I certainly owe those guys my life.”

Mills, who said he plans to ride a motorcycle again, said that while it’s hard to find a way to say thank you, he will be eternally grateful to the men who gave him another chance at life.

“Everything they ever need, I would be there.”

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