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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — After Typhoon Man-Yi leaves Okinawa this weekend, James “Bull” Bullard may get to meet his angel.

Acting on a request from Stars and Stripes on Thursday, Okinawa police located the woman who came to Bullard’s aid after he was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident July 7.

Bullard, 53, known as “Bull” to his friends and co-workers at Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Pacific, is being treated for a broken pelvis at the U.S. Naval Hospital on Camp Lester after colliding with a taxi. He is awaiting a medical evacuation flight to a hospital in San Diego for surgery.

He was due to fly out Wednesday, but medical complications delayed the trip, a DODDS spokesman said.

On Wednesday, Bullard said he wanted to personally thank the Okinawa woman who came to his aid after the accident.

He called her “my angel” and said she provided much-needed comfort, but he never got to see her face and knew her only as “Yuri.”

Yuriko Spina, the woman who rushed to his aid, said she’s no angel.

“I cried out when I saw the crash,” she said in a telephone interview. “The next moment I found my legs were running toward him.

“I just happened to be there,” Spina said. “Anyone would do the same thing — in fact all the people who saw the accident reacted and did their parts. It was teamwork.”

The accident occurred in front of a karate school where Spina’s 13-year-old daughter, Erika, was taking a lesson.

While Spina held Bull’s hands, she called her American husband, Erwin, on her cell phone and got him to call for a military ambulance.

A high school boy volunteered to call for a Japanese ambulance. Other parents who had arrived to pick up their children at the karate school directed traffic.

“I happened to be the one to be with him only because I speak English,” she said. “My part was over when he was taken into an ambulance.

“Am I an angel? If he sees me now, he would be disappointed,” she laughed. She turned down a request to be photographed for this article.

“I am just so relieved to hear that he is recovering,” she said.

Spina, of Kitanakagusuku, said Okinawa police gave her the phone number of Bullard’s Japanese father-in-law and she hopes to meet Bullard when he returns from California.

Bullard was unavailable for comment Thursday, but his wife, Yuka, said he was looking forward to meeting Spina.

“As I am,” she said. “I’m so glad someone was there to help my husband.”

Spina said one good thing happened to her family because of the accident:

“Our daughter Erika now wants to become a paramedic,” she said.

Perhaps angels run in the family.


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