Mystery man praised for saving woman’s life at scene of truck crash

Posted March 01, 2011, at 6:16 p.m.
Brunswick police and rescue workers oversee extrication of a truck that flipped Monday, Feb. 28, 2011, on Route 1 in Brunswick.
Brunswick police and rescue workers oversee extrication of a truck that flipped Monday, Feb. 28, 2011, on Route 1 in Brunswick.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — A Harpswell teen and his female passenger escaped serious injury Monday morning when the pickup truck they occupied apparently hit a hard-packed snowbank and flew into a ditch, landing on its roof.

On Tuesday, Brunswick police and fire personnel were searching for witnesses to the crash as well as a mystery good Samaritan who stopped at the scene and saved the woman’s life.

Just before 10 a.m. Monday, police, fire and rescue workers from Brunswick, Bath, West Bath and Sagadahoc County rushed to the scene of the crash on a hill on Route 1 southbound, just south of the New Meadows River.

According to Brunswick Deputy Chief Don Koslosky, a man stopped at the scene and used a shovel to dig through the snow for four or five minutes, trying to get the occupants out of the truck’s cab.

“When they flipped the truck over [during the crash], it slid and packed [the snow] like an avalanche into the compartments of the vehicle,” Koslosky said today. “This good Samaritan was aware enough to try to dig her out. He had a good four or five minutes before any fire or police got there.”

Those four or five minutes, Koslosky said, saved the woman’s life, because when a first responder from the West Bath Fire Department arrived and finished digging the woman out, he found that she wasn’t breathing.

The Samaritan, Koslosky said, gave the first-responder a head start, gave the woman precious minutes, and he “literally saved her life.”

But the man, Koslosky said, left before anyone asked him his name.

Brunswick police and Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrived, along with firefighters, and Bath Rescue workers took the woman — 23-year-old Amelia Thibault — to Maine Medical Center, Brunswick police Cmdr. Marc Hagan said Tuesday. She was released from the hospital Monday afternoon.

The driver, 16-year-old David Wilson of Harpswell, was taken to Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick for treatment of cuts and bruises.

Investigators determined that neither Thibault nor Wilson wore safety belts at the time of the crash, Hagan said. The 1996 GMC pickup truck was a total loss.

Brunswick police Sgt. Russ Wrede said he’s looking for witnesses as he works to reconstruct the crash.

Police and fire personnel also hope the man who stopped to help save the young woman’s life will give them a call.

“He saved her life, and I think he should know about it, and I think people should know this guy took time and saved her life,” Koslosky said. “She [ended up with] no injuries, and considering the fact that she was barely breathing when we got to her, and the fact that this guy took the time … we’re looking to praise him.”

Witnesses to the crash should contact Wrede at 725-6620 or by e-mail at rwrede@brunswickpd.org.

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