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Employees Who Pulled a Severely Injured Child From a Wrecked Vehicle Named APCo’s 2016 Others’ Keeper of the Year

by on March 6, 2017
From left, Eddie Kilgore, line crew supervisor; Terry Roberts, line mechanic A; 4-year-old Charlee Taylor; and Brandon Bradley, line mechanic A. Photo by Rick Tunnell.

(Story by Teresa Hall)

KINGSPORT, Tenn. — It was a warm sunny day when Kingsport Line Mechanic Brandon Bradley heard a loud crash while replacing a transformer. He immediately directed the crew below toward the direction of the sound. As Line Crew Supervisor Eddie Kilgore rounded the building, he spotted the crumpled metal and shattered glass.

The driver of an SUV had struck a City of Kingsport brush-grabber truck parked along the road. Kilgore headed toward the crash and as he got closer he saw the driver get out of the SUV. She was screaming, “My baby, my baby!” The woman’s 4-year-old daughter, Charlee, was trapped in the back in a child safety seat.

As Kilgore assessed the damage, Bradley and fellow Line Mechanic Terry Roberts caught up to him. Smoke was coming from the SUV and there was growing concern that the vehicle would catch fire. They knew they had to act quickly.

Most of the damage from the crash occurred on the child’s side. The chains attached to the tailgate of the brush grabber were resting on Charlee’s legs and she was clearly injured. The three employees and a fourth Good Samaritan worked as a team and safely removed Charlee from the rear of the SUV.

A photo of the damaged SUV. Charlee was seated on the rear passenger side, which sustained much of the damage.

Kilgore later told his coworkers he knew Charlee’s injuries were severe. As Kilgore held her head to keep her still until emergency personnel arrived, he said he felt the broken bones in her face each time she moved. The little girl suffered multiple facial fractures, lacerations to her face and a broken arm, but since last June has made a full recovery.

The crew developed an instant bond with Charlee and her parents and continue to stay in contact since the crash. It is a bond so close that Rick Tunnell, Kingsport distribution systems supervisor, said Charlee refers to Roberts as “PaPaw.”

When Phil Wright, vice president distribution operations, last week named the Kingsport crew the APCo Distribution 2016 Others’ Keeper of the Year winner at a meeting in Bluefield, West Virginia, he commended the three for their actions.

“The crew could’ve easily looked the other way, but they didn’t,” said Wright. “They took the lead and their actions that day brought comfort to a hurt child and her distraught mother. I’m extremely proud to present them with this award.”

 

 

 

From → News From AEP

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