Torri'ell Norwood helped save her friend with her new knowledge of CPR after a car crash in Florida

By Rachel DeSantis
March 19, 2021 03:31 PM
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When Torri'ell Norwood was certified for CPR at her local Florida high school, the teenager never imagined she'd use her newfound knowledge to save her best friend's life just one day later.

But that's exactly what happened on Feb. 20, after a sudden car accident left friend A'zarria Simmons, 16, unconscious and not breathing with no pulse, the teens told CNN.

"I immediately started doing CPR on her. She started moving on her own and breathing, so I knew that she was okay," Torri'ell, also 16, told Inside Edition. "I was just doing what I knew that I had to do."

It was just one day earlier that Torri'ell, a junior at Lakewood High School, had become certified in CPR, according to CNN. She'd learned the skill thanks to her school's Athletic Lifestyle Management Academy, which helps students who want to pursue careers in health science learn the basics.

"It's just one of the most amazing things," her instructor Erika Miller told Inside Edition. "As a teacher, we hope all the time that somebody's listening, paying attention, that they can find a way to take what they've learned in class into the real world."

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With her newly minted certification, Torri'ell was driving A'zarria and two other friends home in St. Petersburg when someone crashed into her car and she hit a tree as she crashed into a nearby yard, CNN reported.

Though Torri'ell was reportedly able to climb out the car's front window, A'zarria had hit her head on the backseat window and was knocked unconscious.

"I guess the other car was smoking… [so] I was almost all the way down the street, I was trying to run away," Torri'ell told Inside Edition. "And that's when I turned around and I didn't see A'zarria with me. I immediately ran back to the car as fast as I [could] and I saw that she was unconscious and she was not moving at all."

CNN reported that Torri'ell was able to pull her best friend since seventh grade from the back seat, avoiding broken glass along the way, and completed 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths before A'zarria came to.

Though A'zarria — who received several stitches on her forehead — said she does not remember the accident or its immediate aftermath, she's not surprised that Torri'ell stepped up.

"I wasn't shocked by her doing it because she always does stuff for me," she told Inside Edition. "She always has my back. It's deeper than a friendship, it's been deeper than that before this accident and all this happened. It's just made me realize [that] if she wasn't there, I wouldn't be here today."

Added Torri'ell: "That's my friend, so I was going to do anything I could have."

Both teens reportedly plan to pursue careers in the medical field.