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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Witness to a Bad Accident

Emergency Vehicles Dealing with the Accident

We are no longer virgins. We witnessed our first serious accident on US 127. A highway workers was hit by a young man driving a pick-up truck southbound right outside our driveway this afternoon around 1:55pm. The highway worker was stopping cars for bridge work going on down the road about 1/2 mile. The young man said he did not see the stopped vehicles in front of him and in order not to hit the vehicles in front of him he veered off the road and hit the flag man who was standing in the southbound lane nearly on the shoulder of the road. The highway worker (who we were developing a vague relationship with because he was parking his truck in out parking area and we figured he would be there for months since there is some major bridge work starting) had a bloody face and it looked like a broken leg or ankle and perhaps a broken back. They put him on a back board and put a neck brace on him.

I know he was conscious because I talked to him and got him a towel to wipe the blood off of his face. He knew who he was and where he was and what had happened and even exactly where his wallet was (which Eugene got for him as the paramedics arrived).

It was strange waiting for the authorities to arrive. The guy was lying on the ground in shock bleeding. A small group of people gathered there, Eugene and I, the first two people in the line, a couple of road workers who came up from the bridge and I guess called 911, the kid who hit the worker. We were all milling about with no purpose confused as to what to do. . There was a stack of traffic building up on the highway but no one to keep them stopped so eventually the line started moving. No one stopped the traffic. One guy, a witness to the accident, said he hoped there was no oncoming traffic (there wasn't because they had already stopped the northbound traffic). I finally found something to do by looking at the injured worker and seeing his face covered with blood asked him if he wanted a towel. He said yes so I went and got him one and gave it to him just as the fist emergency people arrived. waiting for the emergency vehicles turns minutes into hours

Okay I don't know what happens when a normal person gets hurt out here but when a highway worker gets hit is is a major production. We had 5 Sheriff cars, 4 paramedics in personal vehicles, an ambulance, a fire truck (to wash the blood off the road), a tow truck that was not needed, a bunch of ODOT trucks (it was one of their own that got hurt). It was a full road.

The authorities did their jobs. Some cops interviewed the kid who caused the accident (I suspect he was on a cell phone and just was not paying attention to the road, bad mistake on his part), some investigated the accident scene. The Paramedics got to work cutting away clothing and getting the guy stable and in the ambulance. The Firefighters washed the road clean of human blood and the highway dept. Got a person to stop traffic (which by this time was backed up at least 2 miles). After an hour everything was back to normal, the road was cleared and all the trucks parked in our parking area were gone.

I made peanut butter cookies and Eugene battened down the hatches for tonight's wind storm.

1 comment:

Gina said...

Wow, what a scary experience...