Nurse’s aide sees no heroics in her actions

Posted June 24, 2010, at 9:07 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:32 a.m.
Lincoln firefighters and Penobscot Valley Hospital ambulance attendants roll an unidentified man toward the back of a PVH ambulance after the man?s pickup truck went off Route 6 and rolled over on Tuesday afternoon. The man?s name was not immediately released. (Bangor Daily News/Nick Sambides)
Lincoln firefighters and Penobscot Valley Hospital ambulance attendants roll an unidentified man toward the back of a PVH ambulance after the man?s pickup truck went off Route 6 and rolled over on Tuesday afternoon. The man?s name was not immediately released. (Bangor Daily News/Nick Sambides)

LINCOLN, Maine — You might think of her as a good Samaritan, but the nurse’s aide who treated an 80-year-old man when his pickup truck flew 68 feet during an accident Tuesday doesn’t see her actions as heroic.

“I wasn’t the only one who tried to help,” 45-year-old Mia Burbeck of Springfield said Wednesday. “There were some other people. I don’t know how many, but I know there was a gentleman who came right out. Another lady stopped to help.

“Everybody stopped to help,” Burbeck added. “A lot of people stopped because that’s what Maine people do. They want to see if there is anything that they can do.”

Before paramedics arrived, Burbeck called 911 and braced the neck of Donald Lyons of Lincoln after he lost control of his GMC Sierra pickup truck coming out of a sharp downhill curve at 1536 Lee Road at 1:55 p.m. Traveling behind Lyons, Burbeck saw nothing wrong with his driving until then, she said.

“When it happened, I said, ‘Oh no,’ and I just slowed right down and pulled over,” Burbeck said.

Lyons was treated and released from Penobscot Valley Hospital of Lincoln later that day, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Lyons suffered a medical problem or fatigue in the minutes preceding the accident, Police Chief Scott Minckler said.

“As far as we can tell, he never got on the brake,” Minckler said Wednesday.

Tuesday was a hot day before a late-afternoon shower that cooled the area, and Lyons had been outdoors in the hours before the accident.

Accident measurements show that the pickup went airborne for 68 feet after it hit the ditch. It landed in the driveway at 1536 Lee Road on its front passenger side, rolled onto its roof and came to rest on its remaining wheels. The front left wheel broke off when the vehicle hit the ditch, Minckler said.

Officer Robert Smith, who is investigating the accident, is working to determine how fast Lyons was going when the accident occurred. The area has a 55 mph speed limit.

Actions such as Burbeck’s are laudable, provided that those who help accident victims don’t risk their own safety, Minckler said.

“Her involvement was fantastic,” Minckler said. “If she’s a nurse, she’s trained to do that, so she could definitely be of assistance.”

Burbeck said she works for an agency that assigns nurse’s aides such as herself as temporary or part-time workers.

“I travel the state,” she said.

Burbeck said Tuesday wasn’t the first time she had helped accident victims. She also used to work as an ambulance attendant, although that was 15 to 20 years ago and she is no longer certified for such work, she said.

“I haven’t [worked for an ambulance] in many, many years, and I don’t have that training anymore,” Burbeck said.

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