Coming to the rescue: Alexandria group is first at scene of bad crashDriving home from a round of golf in Long Prairie, a group of six Alexandria men didn’t expect they would be making a stop along the gravel road they were traveling on – 241st Avenue, one half mile south of County Road 48 in Todd County.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
Driving home from a round of golf in Long Prairie, a group of six Alexandria men didn’t expect they would be making a stop along the gravel road they were traveling on – 241st Avenue, one half mile south of County Road 48 in Todd County.
But it was a good thing they did.
The group, including Mark Klein, Bob Ahlgren, Chad Peterson, Royce Martin, Mike Thompson and Tyson Treat, was the first to arrive upon a one-vehicle accident that happened moments before.
Klein, who is the store manager of Pete’s County Market, said all the men could see was a hand coming out from beneath the vehicle, which despite rolling several times, was resting on its wheels in the ditch on top of the victim – Bobbi Jo Monti of Long Prairie.
Someone in the group immediately dialed 911, explaining the situation and their location.
Klein said the girl was alert and conscious, yelling for help. She repeatedly asked the men to get the car off her. Because it was a smaller-sized vehicle and there was a group of men, Klein said they could have easily picked up the vehicle and pulled the girl out.
But they didn’t.
Instead, one of the men held her hand and then, they talked to her, trying their hardest to keep her calm until emergency crews arrived on scene.
“They absolutely did the right thing,” said Scott Johnson, paramedic supervisor for North Memorial Ambulance in Alexandria.
Johnson, who has been a paramedic for about 20 years, was contacted by the newspaper to find out what people should do if they happen upon the scene of a crash – like the group of men did from Pete’s County Market on September 22.
First, stressed Johnson, is safety. When people come upon an accident scene, they should make sure to park their car in a manner where it won’t get hit by other traffic.
Then, they should call 911.
Chad Schroeder, a sergeant for the Alexandria Police Department, noted that even if there appears to not be any injuries, people should call 911 so that trained personnel can assess the scene.
Johnson said if there are injuries, and those who stopped to help feel comfortable administering basic first aid, they should feel free to do that.
For example, if a victim of the crash is bleeding profusely, the person helping can attempt to control the bleeding by applying pressure, although it may be uncomfortable for the person who is hurt.
In most circumstances, it is best to leave injured persons exactly where they are. Johnson said to try and keep them as still as possible.
Talking to them, keeping them warm and reassuring them that help is on the way are the best things to do at the scene of a crash, said Johnson.
He, along with Schroeder, said that people shouldn’t be afraid to stop and help.
“You won’t get in trouble for helping,” said Johnson, noting that there is a Good Samaritan Law that protects people from liability.
The law is intended to reduce bystanders’ hesitation to help for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury.
“Please go ahead and help if you can,” said Johnson, “but do so in a safe manner.”
Schroeder said, “You won’t get in trouble. Feel free to render aid.”
Schroeder also noted that it’s best and easiest for law enforcement to collect information directly at the scene of a crash. Even if there are no injuries, he encouraged people involved in a crash to stay at the scene and let authorities take care of getting information.
In addition, he said that law enforcement officials will check over the vehicles to make sure they are still drivable.
Schroeder also gave tips for calling in an accident, which included, first and foremost, to try and remain as calm as possible. Then, he said to give as specific directions as possible for the location and to note if there are any injuries.