- Associated Press - Friday, November 27, 2015

BURLINGTON, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident this summer had a surprise reunion this week with the stranger who police say helped saved his life.

Rufus Graham on Wednesday met Walter Rives, a former armed guard for NASA who stopped to apply his belt as a tourniquet after Graham’s leg was severed in an accident in Burlington on July 5, NBC Philadelphia reported (https://bit.ly/1ImtU5w ).

Rives was driving on Route 130 heading to his brother’s engagement party at the same time that Graham lost control of his motorcycle and collided with a metal road sign.

“I saw him, and I saw the blood gushing out,” Rives said. “I was thinking I was watching a guy die in front of me - just taking his last breaths.”

Police credit the tourniquet that Rives applied to Graham’s leg with helping to keep him alive.

“I remember looking at his face. I didn’t get his name or anything,” Graham said. “I’ve been wanting to meet him.”

Graham spent weeks in the hospital undergoing surgeries and was outfitted with a prosthetic leg last week. Graham’s girlfriend set up the surprise reunion as he tested out the new leg at a rehabilitation center because Rives was back in New Jersey to visit family for Thanksgiving.

“I think I’m really blessed to be here,” Graham said. “I want to make the best of it. Not everybody gets second chances.”

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