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Tulsa linemen render aid to victim of car accident

by on September 12, 2013
Four Tulsa linemen recently helped rescue a man trapped inside an SUV after a severe vehicle accident. From left: Jeremy Wright, Will Schenk, Pete Leigh, and Nick Bunch.

(Story by Tracy J. Harper)

The conclusion of a typical summer workday for four Tulsa, Okla., linemen turned into something else on the afternoon of Aug. 12, when they suddenly found themselves jumping into action as first responders at the scene of a terrible vehicle accident.

The crew had completed a job installing new service to traffic signals at an Owasso intersection and were headed back to their dock at the Mid Metro Service Center.

Linemen Pete Leigh and Will Schenk were in a flatbed truck driving south down Highway 169 from Owasso to Tulsa. Travelling behind them in a line truck were apprentices Jeremy Wright and Nick Bunch. As they approached 76th Street North, they witnessed a northbound SUV cross the center median, go airborne, and hit a southbound car. The employees stopped immediately to lend a hand.

The damaged SUV was lying on the driver’s side in the southbound lanes. When Leigh noticed a man trapped inside, his first-aid training kicked in and he started tending to the injured man while the other linemen helped hold the passenger door open and provided eye-witness accounts to responding police officers.

“The man in the SUV had blood on his forehead and face but he was conscious and talking,” said Leigh.

The victim in the other vehicle, however, appeared to have nearly lost an arm, and was being tended to by the first team of paramedics to arrive…but more first responders were needed.

“There weren’t enough paramedics there at first, so I opened the passenger door of the SUV and started talking to the driver, asking if he was okay,” said Leigh. “He gave me his wife’s phone number. I called her and told her he’d been in an accident but he was conscious and talking. She said she was on her way.”

More paramedics soon arrived on the scene to pull the driver from his wrecked SUV.

“One paramedic went into the vehicle through the passenger side. Another paramedic went in through the back hatch of the SUV, and I followed him. We were able to lay the seats down and pull him out through the hatch,” said Leigh. After the victim was safely removed from the vehicle, they placed him on a backboard and the paramedics then transported him to a Tulsa medical facility.

“I didn’t see his wife at the accident scene, so I called and left her a message telling her that the paramedics took her husband to St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa,” said Leigh.

Commenting on the employees’ prompt actions, Gary Smith, Distribution supervisor, said, “I am extremely proud of the responsiveness of our linemen and their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to help. Their training and ability to handle critical situations with great care and concern for human life makes them very deserving of recognition.”

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