Before everyone had cell phones in their pockets, purses or hands 24/7, getting help in an emergency was a little more difficult.
When I was in the car wreck in Ellsworth, on the way to take the Cosmetology State Boards, the driver of the car I was in had to run to the nearest phone to get help. We were driving on Main Street and the accident happened in front of her church so she ran into the church to call the police to come and help us out.
It would have been half the wait if we’d had a cell phone at the time of the accident. The policeman that arrived to take care of the accident sure didn’t have a problem writing a ticket for the other guy; even though the man that hit us was the county attorney.
A few years after we were married we were going to Pratt one summer evening with one of my friends and her husband for supper at the Elks club. We were following a semi with an enclosed trailer as we went around the curves on the west edge of Partridge.
There had been a new mat laid on the road but the shoulder had not been filled in and brought up even with the pavement. There was an 8 inch or more drop off and the ditch went down at a steep angle from there.
The driver of the truck either misjudged the curve or the wind caught the trailer because the wheels of the trailer dropped off the pavement. Luckily he was not going very fast around the curve when the trailer started a slow motion roll.
The trailer rolled onto its side and took the cab with it. Then because the load in the trailer shifted it continued the slow motion roll and both cab and trailer came to rest upside down in the bottom of the ditch. We slammed on our brakes and pulled over, but not off the pavement.
My husband got out and started to direct traffic around our car and to watch for the oncoming cars from the west. My friend’s husband (who had been an EMT years before) ran into the ditch to check on the driver.
We happened to have a CB in our car (that shows our age doesn’t it) that we mostly used to listen to the truckers to hear where the highway patrol were sitting but that evening it came in handy for the emergency.
Because of his handle or call name my husband used he always had trouble getting people to answer him. I think they thought he was a cop when he was asking for information. But they always answered “The Tigress” so while he was directing traffic I got on the CB and called for help.
A highway patrol answered me and as luck would have it he was only about15 miles away. As he turned around and headed to our location he called for an ambulance. He arrived a few minutes before the ambulance from Hutchinson.
As soon as I had the patrolman on the way I took over directing traffic and my friend stayed with the CB to answer if anyone needed information. My husband went into the ditch to help her husband with the trucker.
They determined that he was not badly hurt so they helped him out of the cab. It took them a few minutes to work the belt loose and to maneuver him out without him dropping like a rock on his head.
The truck driver didn’t think he was hurt very bad but he was bleeding from a cut over one eye and his chest was hurting, he thought from the seat belt or hitting the steering wheel. But our husbands made him lie down in the ditch away from the truck anyway until help arrived. They decided to stay with him until then.
When the highway patrolman arrived I told him how the accident happened. Then while the patrolman went down to check on the truck driver my friend and I stayed to direct traffic. When the ambulance arrived our husbands came back to the car and the patrolman came up shortly after that to take over directing traffic.
We were then able to get back on the road to Pratt and the steak dinner we were looking forward to. I think we earned a steak that evening and we were all really hungry when we finally got to eat.
We were probably at the scene 30 minutes waiting for help to arrive and get things to a point that we could leave. Would a cell phone have gotten us help any faster? Maybe or maybe not. But the CB that came before cell phones did the job for us that evening. To contact Sandy: [email protected]