Traveling nurse helps motorists who struck moose on I-95

Posted June 23, 2011, at 11:20 p.m.

TOWNSHIP 2 RANGE 9, Maine ― Cynthia Deveau was glad that her first memorable attempt at Good Samaritanhood ― outside of her job ― required so little of her.

The 38-year-old traveling nurse was heading south on Interstate 95 toward her Lincoln apartment after visiting family in East Millinocket when she came upon a badly smashed Nissan XTerra and a dead moose in the middle of the highway at about 9 p.m. Thursday, she said.

With the vehicle facing the wrong way and its front end caved in ― the windshield was smashed but didn’t shatter ― Deveau said she feared she would find extreme injuries to the vehicle’s occupants. Instead, a man, apparently the driver, had slight injuries to his hand and a woman and the couple’s small grandchild were OK.

“When I saw his truck and I stopped and he said, ‘I am OK,’ I was really surprised that he [the man] was the one in the accident,” Deveau said late Thursday. “He’s very lucky.”

With the man calling 911, Deveau checked over the occupants for serious injuries and found none, she said, though East Millinocket’s ambulance service took the three to Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln to be checked out. Their names were not available late Thursday.

Deveau, who carries an emergency traveler’s kit in her vehicle, made sure the XTerra’s hazard lights were on and set out reflectors and the four emergency orange cones in the kit, she said.

Deveau’s precautions weren’t enough, however, to stop an 18-wheeler from smashing into the small female moose and dragging it several hundred feet, she said. The trucker’s mishap apparently did no damage to the truck, but the same cannot be said for the moose carcass.

“It smells awful,” Deveau said.

Deveau said she couldn’t recall ever using her nursing skills to help motor vehicle accident victims. The East Millinocket native is working at the Lincoln hospital at the moment, she said.

The roadside assistance was actually rather pleasant for Deveau, or at least ended that way. She recognized East Millinocket firefighter Greylen Hale and he reminded her of their upcoming high school reunion during an enjoyable chat.

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