Alexandrians honored for accident responseThey may not think of themselves as extraordinary, but Brad Nyberg and Bradley “B.J.” Anderson received an award for doing what most people would consider a hero’s job.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
They may not think of themselves as extraordinary, but Brad Nyberg and Bradley “B.J.” Anderson received an award for doing what most people would consider a hero’s job.
Late in the afternoon on a cold winter day back in February of 2008, Nyberg of Alexandria and Anderson, now of Shakopee (formerly of Alexandria), happened upon an accident on Highway 114 and County Road 24 about three miles north of Starbuck.
A passenger car was traveling west on County Road 24 when it failed to stop at a stop sign and was broadsided on the driver’s side, according to a report from the Minnesota State Patrol.
The vehicle was struck by a semi, which was traveling northbound on Highway 114.
Nyberg said he and Anderson didn’t actually see the accident happen, but came upon it shortly afterward.
“There wasn’t a whole lot left of the car,” Nyberg remembered. “It was mangled like something I have never seen before.”
The passenger, recalled Nyberg, was conscious and alert, but injured. The driver didn’t make it. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We said some prayers and did what we could to help,” said Nyberg of his and Anderson’s actions.
Their help caught the attention of the Minnesota State Patrol who awarded each of the men with the Meritorious Citizenship Award this week.
The award is presented to individuals other than State Patrol employees who have assisted the Minnesota State Patrol in providing a significant service to the public.
Captain Al Kutz, on behalf of Bryan Klassen, an officer with the Starbuck Police Department, nominated Anderson and Nyberg for the award.
According to the State Patrol, with little to no training and putting their own safety and opinions aside, Anderson and Nyberg ran to the aid of the victims inside the car.
Nyberg noted that neither men are first responders, nor have had the training.
When emergency crews arrived on scene, Anderson was holding a victim’s hand and both men were talking to the victims, continually reassuring them that help was there.
Both men stayed at the scene until law enforcement officials had an opportunity to speak with them.
In Officer Klassen’s opinion, Anderson and Nyberg went above and beyond what they could have done by keeping the victims calm and collected, and giving them someone to talk to.
He said they were both professional and respectful to both victims amidst a very traumatic scene.
And although the crash claimed the life of one of the victims, the officers at the scene believe that the efforts made by both Nyberg and Anderson saved the life of the other victim.
The two men were notified about the award about a month ago. Nyberg also noted that this past winter, North Ambulance also honored them both for helping at the scene of the crash.
When asked what he thought of receiving the State Patrol’s Meritorious Citizenship Award, Nyberg humbly said, “It wasn’t like we were jumping for joy. We just did what any normal human being would or should have done. It’s not like we are heroes or something.”