Michael Bussan considers himself a tough guy, but the Uber driver couldn’t help crying as he rushed a wounded man and his brother to a hospital after they crashed their car while fleeing from a shooting.
“His brother is screaming, ‘I’ve got you bro, I’ve got you bro,'” Bussan said. “I’ve never seen two people care so much about each other.”
Bussan said he had dropped off a passenger in the South Loop when he saw the crash in the 1000 block of South Clark Street around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The brothers and another person had been riding in a silver Chevrolet Malibu when someone in another car fired at them, hitting one of the brothers several times in the abdomen in the 2900 block of South Indiana Avenue.
The driver of the Malibu continued driving to get to a hospital, but crashed into a Jeep Wrangler, police said. Coming on the scene, Bussan said he asked what happened and was told a man had been shot but that an ambulance was still several minutes away.
People were staring at the scene from a distance with their phones out, said Bussan, 46. “They wouldn’t get out of their cars. And I’m like, ‘Are you going to help him?’
“I’m like, ‘I’ll take you, both of you,” Bussan said he told the 21-year-old gunshot victim and his brother. “Take care of your brother while I’m driving.”
Bussan said the brother called his mother, a nurse, who told him to remove his shirt and apply pressure on the wounds. “Just push your hands against his stomach and hold in as much blood as you can,” Bussan recalled her saying.
“I was doing like 100 mph down Columbus to get to that hospital,” he said. “And when I entered there, I was yelling, ‘I’ve got a kid with bullet wounds and he’s dying. He’s got minutes.'”
Bussan said doctors at Northwestern Hospital stabilized the man’s condition, but he remained on a ventilator due to the trauma and blood loss. Police said the man was listed in critical condition.
The brother’s mother showed up to the hospital and thanked Bussan for “giving them an opportunity to fight for their lives,” he said.
Bussan said he teared up while witnessing one brother care for the other. “I’m a bodybuilder, powerlifter, and I’m Polish and Russian. If we sit there and cry, they’d say man up,” Bussan said.
“Last night, everyone who called me said, ‘God was on your side,'” he added. “That’s the first time I’ve seen bunch of 300-pound men say, ‘God was with you, bro.’ Everyone had a soft side last night. And I’m like, this is the only night we’re sharing this, otherwise we’re a bunch of tough guys.”