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Rev. Patrick Dowling seemed to arrive at the scene of an auto accident in July out of nowhere. Rescue officials were baffled at the appearance and disappearance of the priest and his request to anoint accident victim Katie Lentz, 19.
Dowling reported to the National Catholic Register website that he had just been returning from Mass in Ewing when he came upon the scene.
Not one witness reported seeing the priest’s car before he arrived at the site of the car accident. At the time, emergency responders were trying unsuccessfully to cut Lentz out of her mangled vehicle. Lentz had been struck head-on by a drunk driver. Dowling is reported to have appeared just after Lentz requested that everyone at the scene pray out loud with her.
Aaron L. Smith, 26, was traveling east on Mo. 19 at 9:07 a.m. in a 2006 Chevy Silverado when he allegedly crossed the center line and collided head on with Lentz.
Although officials had been redirecting traffic around the scene, Dowling waited until he was able to park behind a larger vehicle less than 200 yards from the accident.
According to Dowling, “I asked the sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident. I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently. I left when the helicopter was about to take off, and before I got to my car, it was on its way to Quincy.”
The helicopter Dowling mentioned took Lentz to Blessing Hospital in Quincy. She remains there in “satisfactory” condition.
Dowling reported that he gave his name to one of the authorities at the accident scene. Upon the sheriff’s request, the sergeant released Katie’s name to Dowling so that he could visit her in the hospital.
If you or somebody you know has been injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Be sure to contact an Illinois personal injury attorney to assist you.