Join Date: May 2002
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Hope your Tday was safer than this toy owner\'s was
We went to my sister's in Brentwood (the delta) for Turkey day. Traffic was heavy, but manageable. We
only lost 10 or 15 min to slowdowns. Sarah was sick so she and Mom stayed home and I took Justin and
Julie in the 410. we were almost there when we hit a slowdown and to the left, (widely separated
freeway lanes here, 50 yds or more) was a Toy Tacoma (I think) laying on it's drivers side. The dust still
hadn't settled and a guy was on the pass door waving for help.
I stuck my arm out holding traffic and cut across junping over the rain gutter curb to lend assistance. I
told Justin "your with me" and ran over. I could see an arm coming from under the side, above the top
of the truck. I didn't like that and was thinking "this will be bad". The driver was a girl screaming that she
was bleeding to death and to get her out. She was in total panic, and wouldn't stop screaming. There
was some blood on the ground, but hardly the arterial bleeding someone said she had. But who takes
chances? Lots of other well meaning people also stopped but mostly were calling 911 and telling each
other what not to do, like "don't move her, she might have spinal injuries" etc.
After getting a busy signal from 911 (just too many damn cell phones, they swamped the circuit)
I had Justin get the First aid kit to see what I had to stop bleeding. Damn I need to upgrade that kit,
nothing more than big Band-Aids...
One person that was useful was a nurse. I tried to make sure her trained opinions were adhered to, since
everyone else was divided, do we push it on its wheels to get her out, or try to get to her? If she was
bleeding out, getting to her was critical. No brainer in my mind, and I said so. Meanwhile I had Justin get
me some leather work gloves and ripped out the rear window. No better access, it was an extended cab. I
was about to do the same to the front, when the nurse agreed to right the truck. some other guys had
got a big truck and a tow strap on the frame to pull with. I directed him to take it slow as he could, and the
rest of us were pushing it. Over it went (those things are HEAVY, although it was a bit up hill...).
We were lucky and the door popped right open and the 1/2 door in the back also opened. She stepped out and
seemed fine other than a gash on her head. A bit confused, but no really serious gross injuries. (She had
asked earlier what happened, she didn't remember) We had her sit down (so she wouldn't fall down, just in
case) and some one got a space blanket for her. The nurse looked her over and didn't seem too excited
about her injuries either.
I told Justin to get our stuff, and looked the situation over. We were no longer needed, so I told the kids
"Were out of here".
That truck was a mess though. The tail gate and a bunch of frou-frou tubing was ripped off, both ends were
bent and the drivers side took a hard hit or 2 at the roof line. Everything was bent. My guess was that she
drifted and caught the curb, he front tire caught and snapped it sideways or even started it endo. It
definitely rolled several times. We were about 10 min from my sisters, so off we went. I was even on time,
beating my brother, his wife Marcia and Mom for once. When they got there I asked if the had fun getting
past the wreck, and they said that there was 2 fire engines, an ambulance AND an air med evec chopper
on scene. Holy... Someone calling 911 must has said arterial bleeding... I guess over-reaction is better
than under reaction, but I'm glad I don't have to explain why all that response was used for maybe 20-30
stitches in a scalp wound...
In retrospect, I could have done a couple of things better. What I was doing was better than most of the
people, but I try to have high standards especially with my background in race wreck management...
I should have got the rear window and WS out FIRST.
I should have tried to get her to asses her injuries, and compress her wound with something.
I should have asked if there were others with first aid training and got them organized and the untrained
back out of the way. They meant well but delayed potentially critical decisions.
I MUST upgrade my first aid kit in the cars. My only big wound bandages are in the tent trailer first aid kit.
I keep heavy work gloves in the zuk but not the mini van. Fix that...
I need to work with my kids on emergency response. Justin did well, but Julia followed us and shouldn't have.
Prep I did right,
All the kits have latex gloves. don't risk getting someone else's blood on you. AIDS and other blood borne
diseases are a real danger.
CPR and First Aid training and certification. It's worth it.
This was a learning experience for me. I hope sharing it helps someone else.