Bystanders go above and beyond to help injured motorcyclist

Utah Highway Patrol and Diamond Valley Fire tend to crash that injured a motorcycle rider who was transported by Life Flight to the hospital Saturday in Diamond Valley, Utah, Mar. 11, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — St. George News received a reader-submitted update regarding a motorcycle crash that occurred in Washington County last week detailing the heroic efforts of some good Samaritans who happened to be in the area when the crash occurred.

Motorcyclist crashes into “Diamond Valley” sign after possibly taking a turn too quickly, Diamond Valley, Utah, March 11, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

A motorcycle rider was injured March 11 on State Route 18 near Diamond Valley while attempting to negotiate a left-hand turn onto Diamond Valley Road. Instead of making the turn, the man slid numerous yards before he and his motorcycle slammed into the “Diamond Valley” sign.

Intermountain Life Flight was launched and responded, and the man was flown to Dixie Regional Medical Center to be treated for his injuries.

Numerous first responders arrived and tended to the injured man while officers conducted an investigation into the cause of the crash while a wrecker responded and towed the damaged motorcycle from the scene.

Read more: Motorcycle crash launches Life Flight in Diamond Valley 

While the above facts provided by authorities still stand, additional details have surfaced explaining how the incident turned out favorably for the motorcyclist.

Through a series of emails received this week, St. George News has learned that several bystanders pulled to the side of the road to help the injured man.

Eddie Smith wrote in explaining how several people ran to the aid of the injured rider while responders were en route to the scene. These “first responders” – the citizens who stopped to help – deserve “kudos,” he said.

Utah Highway Patrol tends to crash that injured a motorcycle rider who was transported by Life Flight to the hospital, Diamond Valley, Utah, Mar. 11, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

One of those that ran to the rider’s aid, an off-duty emergency room trauma nurse, was out hiking with family just prior to the crash. Hearing the commotion she ran to the area and asked if she could be of assistance, telling those close to the rider that she was an ER trauma nurse before she quickly checked the man for injuries.

Meanwhile, the injured rider began asking the people around him to remove his helmet, and before anyone could respond, the nurse explained the importance keeping the helmet secured to the rider’s head to prevent possible further injury. Unless the patient is not breathing, the helmet should remain on, the nurse explained.

According to the Motorcycle Council of NSW, the helmet should remain in place with chin strap undone as it acts as a perfect collar cuff and provides support for the delicate cervical vertebrae.

Another bystander assisted by holding the man’s C Spine while the trauma nurse explained that the rider could have suffered spinal or neck damage during the crash.

It was fortuitous that the nurse was there to provide the information about the helmet, since it was later found the man suffered “road rash and bruises but was also complaining of back and neck pain,” Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Larry Mower reported.

With summer just around the corner and more people traveling comes an increase in the number of crashes on Utah roadways.

“A little civilian help can go a long way. Sometimes it means heroically moving a victim from a burning car, but more often it means calling 911 or offering some reassuring words as you wait for help to arrive,” according to a guide by Esurance.

Safety guidelines when stopping to assist after a crash

  • Park away from the crash.
  • Assess the situation.
  • Call 911.
  • Stabilize the cars – put vehicles involved in “park” and turn the ignition off.

“Lets give praise to everyone; not just the first string team,” Smith said.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

 Resources:

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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