Three good Samaritans with medical training stop to help man injured in crash on Bangerter Highway

Posted at 5:54 PM, Feb 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-09 08:06:15-05

RIVERTON, Utah -- Three off-duty emergency medical responders happened to be nearby when a semi-truck carrying dry-wall crashed into three vehicles. It happened on Bangerter Highway in Riverton on Tuesday afternoon.

The first on the scene was Fox13 sales associate Courtney Sullivan. Sullivan was across the street at In N' Out with her mother when it happened. She was an EMT for five years before she started working at Fox 13.

“We were going to eat lunch and then there was a loud bang,” Sullivan said.

She ran over to the scene of the crash.

“Since I worked on an ambulance for a couple years and I’m an advanced EMT, I thought I’d go out there and check to see if everyone was OK,” she said.

Then she realized she was not the only off-duty EMT there.

“Me and another EMT, who happened to be there, ran over to the car that was under the semi, the most that was smashed, the guy was trapped in there," Sullivan said. "We got to the window and were able to talk to them and get his phone number so we could call his wife."

Sullivan said they were able to asses the man's injuries and keep him alert.

"His arm was twisted; it looked all broken and his neck was all kinked and he was fading in and out of consciousness," she said. "So, we were able to climb on top of one of the other cars and pry open the passenger door on the other side and I was able to kind of shimmy from the top of the car and get in with him. So, I held his neck up—kept him awake. Kind of reset his arm and put it at a normal angle.”

That is two off-duty emergency medical responders who were there. In the meantime, no one could reach 911. The lines were busy. That’s when the third hero showed up.

“Another guy was there and worked for dispatch somewhere here in Utah, so, he was able to radio them,” Sullivan said.

Within ten minutes, paramedics arrived and used the jaws of life to free the man from the vehicle. He was rushed to Intermountain Medical Hospital in critical condition. As of Thursday afternoon he was upgraded out of the ICU and is recovering, according to Intermountain Medical Center.

“I’m not sure if I made a huge difference… it could have been much worse,” Sullivan said.