View Full Version : Tried to save a life today...

10-20-2012, 09:03 PM
but failed.

We weren't able to make the Spooky Run this evening because of kid conflicts. Dillen needed help on a school project so we decided to head up the hill to the Caribou town site just outside of Nederland.

Headed up 119 and we were almost at the top of the hill. Line of cars coming around a corner headed down. A guy on a motorcycle from the back of the line decides to pass on the double yellow. Everything went into slow motion when I saw him and realized he wasn't go to make it. He tried to duck behind the first car in line but was going way too fast and rear ended it. He must have been doing close to 60. A string of f-bombs exited my mouth.

He and the bike were launched. We were maybe 20 yards away. I hit the brakes and swerved to the right as soon as I saw him flying towards me. There's not a lot of room on that road. He landed head first (no helmet) in the road and went under the truck. I'll never forget the two bumps that jolted the truck.

I was out of the truck and running before it was even stopped. He was just behind the truck and the bike was another hundred yards or so down the road. It was bad. Very bad.

Somehow or another everyone that tried to help was some kind of medical professional. There was a resident, several nurses, an EMT in training and myself. We got him flipped over (which scared the **** of me) and started CPR. A Sheriff showed up but had nothing but a basic first aid kit, an air bag and an AED. The medics seemed to take forever. I'd been doing compressions for what felt like hours.

When they finally showed, they hooked him up to their EKG and he was asystolic. I knew he was gone long before then as his hands and fingers had gone gray. They finally called it and told me I could stop.

The canyon was shut down from Sugarloaf to the top of the hill.

Thankfully, the girls didn't see anything during or after the accident. We were up there for almost 3 hours before being cleared to leave. Sheriffs, troopers, medics and fire fighters were absolutely amazing. They all kept reassuring me I did all I could and I know I did. It still sucks to watch a life drain away.

There are two things I need to do though. One, I need an emergency frequency programmed into the radio. Two, I need an EMT refresher.

From here on out, I think I am always going to have the radio on in the truck, no matter what. There was no cell service on the strip of 119 we were on.

Hope everyone has a good time on the Spooky Run. I need another beer.

10-20-2012, 09:09 PM
I am sorry that you had to go through that. Unfortunately this will stick with you. My experience was Jan 20th, 2002. Like it was yesterday. So sorry.

10-20-2012, 10:38 PM
Sorry man, somebody got impatient and paid a hefty price.

10-21-2012, 12:25 AM
You are the victim of his thoughtless action that cost him his own life, but will traumatize you for a while dealing with the memories and sense of helplessness. I'm sorry that happened, but I'm glad you are OK, and the kids didn't see the gory stuff. My hat is off to you. You did everything you could to help him, and more than most would have. Those of us who work in fields that see a lot of this stuff have bullet-proof compartments to lock these experiences away in, to be taken out in manageable chunks over the course of time so we can grieve through the emotions they bring up. God bless you for your soul-full efforts to save him...and don't beat yourself up about it.

10-21-2012, 12:32 AM
Peace be with you.

10-21-2012, 07:29 AM
So sorry to hear about this, but thankful your girls didn't see the worst parts, and thankful caring people were there to try and help.

Everyone has their own story, I remember being 7 or 8 when something very similar happened to us while my dad was driving. I remember my dad telling me to stay in the truck while he went to try and help. I can remember him talking to me about it when we drove away. I'm sure you and your girls had that conversation as well, and it will stick with them forever.

I hope you find some solace in the fact that you did everything you could. My heart goes out to his family. Their world has just been upended.

10-21-2012, 08:54 AM
Oh man, that's horrible. So glad you all didn't wreck. And good job helping as best you could.

My wife let me spend money on Ham radios in my rigs for emergencies. So many places we go have no cell coverage.

146.520 is used for and monitored for emergencies, and you can also just call out mayday on any channel you think you'll get a response, including the repeaters.

10-21-2012, 09:53 AM
That sucks man. Brutal thing to have to experience.:(

J Kimmel
10-21-2012, 12:30 PM
wow...thats horrible :(

we were coming down from Estes to Lyons this summer on our bikes, going about 30-35 behind 6 or 8 cars with no where to pass, I had a guy in a CRV pass me on a blind corner double yellow and cut in, then did it to my buddy in a similar spot only to sit behind the log jam in front of us. People get impatient for some reason up there and they just make bad choices :shrug:

and you get to live with that, sorry man you did all you could

10-21-2012, 03:47 PM
I am truly sorry to hear this as well. I would not hesitate to say that you would be best served to see a mental health care professional that deals with these types of trauma (to you). Traumatic events will effect even the best balanced people for a duration of time. It is better to seek help, then to try and tough it out and have the effects hurt the family.

Do the best for your family, good luck

10-21-2012, 05:11 PM
Thank you for the comments and concerns. I took a nice long mountain bike ride this morning and was able to make peace with the Universe. I then had a long conversation with a good friend who's an ex-SEAL. Helped immensely. Bec is still a little shaken and Dillen had questions this morning but all is as well as it can be at the moment.

10-21-2012, 08:23 PM
That is so sad for you. Obviously for that man's family. But that is a tough thing to cope with. As just suggested, make sure you talk to somebody if you need it.

Jenny Cruiser
10-21-2012, 10:45 PM
Wow. I'm very sorry.

10-22-2012, 01:16 AM
Real sorry to hear.

10-22-2012, 07:44 AM
My prayers are with you and the man and his family. Seek counseling if you need it and thank you for relaying the story to us.

10-22-2012, 01:51 PM
Sorry you all had to go through that. I read it all and was in disbelief after having heard about it from Al.

very very sad..

let us know if there is anything we can do..

10-22-2012, 02:49 PM
let us know if there is anything we can do..

thanks. much appreciated.

10-25-2012, 10:11 PM

I’m very sorry to hear about this and absolutely agree that you should talk to someone if you should have an issues coping. On an additional note, sometimes PTSD symptoms don’t present for a few month to a couple of years. Furthermore, I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Unfortunately, we don't often know why things happen but they definitely affect the future... good & bad. An EMT Refresher course maybe beneficial but unfortunately you'll be limited by the supplies/equipment on hand. I'd recommend a "Wilderness EMT Course/ Refresher". There are even books on backcountry medicine. IMO, I'd be more practical for the "non-practicing/ non-equipped" EMT. Even an internet search can provide some good ideas for the medical use of common supplies.

I've been a Fire Medic for 12 years and my Emergency Kit is very primitive... speaking of which, I should probably look through that thing. At any rate, here is a basic run down of items that are available to the public:

1. Medical Gloves:(multiple pairs, consider a box… generally many people want to help). http://www.discountedlatexgloves.com/product/SEC-375. Sold by the case but great for wrenching on the rig as well.

2. Pocket CPR mask: http://www.laerdal.com/us/item/82001933.

3. Epi Pen (allergic reaction): Consider two, one generally isn’t enough. https://epipen.ca/en/my_epipen_resources/order_your_epipen_starter_kit/.

4. Benadryl (allergic reaction): (50mg for Adults and 25mg for kids under 12) http://www.amazon.com/Diphenhydramine-50mg-Capsules-100ct-btl/dp/B000GG5OY0.

5. Trauma Shears (Cutting Clothes): http://www.buyemp.com/product/trauma-shears

6. Tourniquet/constricting bandage: http://www.buyemp.com/product/adc-velcro-tourniquets

7. SAM Splint (can be formed or cut to length): http://www.buyemp.com/product/sam-medical-splint.

8. Triangle bandage (sling): http://www.buyemp.com/product/emp-triangular-bandages-aka-cravats.

9. Roll of Gauze (wrapping wounds): http://www.buyemp.com/product/conforming-stretch-gauze

10. Gauze pads: http://www.buyemp.com/product/dynarex-sterile-gauze-pads

11. Eye washer: http://www.buyemp.com/product/eye-care-products

12. Ice packs: http://www.buyemp.com/product/cold-compress

13. Glucose (diabetic/low blood sugar): http://www.buyemp.com/product/glutose-15-single-dose

14. Tweezers (splinters, thorns, glass removal, etc)

15. Band-Aids, Hydrogen Peroxide, and some type of ointment are always nice to have on hand.

16. Thermal/Emergency Sleeping Bag (Not the blanket due to high wind situations).

This all sounds like a lot but it all can be stored in a relatively small bag such as this: http://www.buyemp.com/product/l-a-rescue-first-call-in-bag1. I would advise against getting a “complete” bag because some of the items you will probably never use. I’m sure that I am missing some items but even with all your bases covered you’ll still need something else. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me or call.

10-25-2012, 10:35 PM
Dude, thank you so much for that list. I was just getting ready to make a post looking for advice on putting something like this together.

10-25-2012, 11:38 PM
No problem

10-29-2012, 09:32 PM
Ugh...that's tough man. Sorry to hear that you went through all of that.

There's nothing quite like that experience to have you re-evaluate how precious life is, and just how fragile. I've had a number of those experiences when I lived in Atlanta, that I had all but forgotten about until I read your post. No idea why God kept having me be first on the scene that year, but wound up pulling a guy from a flipped car on a dark interstate with gas spilling all over the street one time, and another, watched a guy get launched through a windshield. Spent 45 crazy minutes with my fingers in the guys neck telling him he was going to be ok until the ambulance arrived. The last one was watching a friend get picked up and thrown into a tree from a winch cable quickly tightening up and sweeping him.

Much like you, when everything settled down, I went about getting more training and carried a safety kit with me for a long long time. I know the club requires a first aid kit, but the need can go far beyond that. It probably would be a good idea to have another club CPR training and even go as far as saying one truck per run should have far more than the basic kit. I'm required to have CPR and infant CPR on an annual basis, and I could probably run through it more often than that.
You never want to see stuff like that happen, but when you do, something almost robotic takes over and you jump into action. Better to have the right training so the robot response is correct.

10-29-2012, 11:28 PM
Our prayers are with you, your family and the rider's family

10-30-2012, 03:28 PM
So sorry to hear... our prayers are with you and yours.

11-02-2012, 12:19 PM
That is very sad indeed! I always ask myself when I read about these motorcyclist not wearing helmets, if he would still be alive today if he had been wearing a helmet, but I guess it isn't cool....feel bad for the surviving family members