Sometimes you get lucky when you flag someone down for help.
On Monday morning, about 8:30 a.m., Jarrod Baker, a Level 3 First Aid Responder with Marine Harvest Canada, was on his way to work when he and coworker Micheal Daniel Toppel were flagged down by a truck driver who had stopped at the scene of a vehicle rollover just north of Eve River on Highway 19, near Sayward.
According to Baker, a northbound pickup truck had crossed the highway and rolled down the bank, coming to rest on the driver’s side door.
A 72-year-old Campbell River man was pinned under the steering wheel, “in obvious discomfort and shock,” Baker says. Baker assessed the man’s condition for fractures or bleeding. Seeing none, he made the decision to begin an extraction from the vehicle, since there was a danger that other vehicles would also find the ditch there due to road conditions at the time.
Baker says the pair watched the temperature drop four degrees over about 30 seconds.
“The temperature dropped so quickly and the road flashed over with a sheet of ice,” Baker says. “Fortunately, we noticed the drop in temperature (on the thermometer) in our company vehicle, and knew then to keep our eyes open for any vehicles that may have left the road.”
While Baker was performing the extraction, another passerby used a 2-way radio to contact the Sayward Logging Sort to call for an ambulance, which arrived within a half-hour, Baker says. He and others kept the man under surveillance until such time as he could be turned over to ambulance and transported to Campbell River Hospital for assessment and treatment.
Baker is thankful he and Toppel weren’t the only ones to stop at the accident, saying it’s comforting to know that people can still rely on the kindness of strangers to help while awaiting medical attendants or emergency crews.
“There were many passersby that stopped to ask if they could help,” Baker. “It’s comforting to know that there are so many people willing to help if any of us who travel dangerous North Island roads get into an accident.”