LEWISTON, Maine — A skidder rolled onto a 61-year-old logger working in the woods near River Road early Wednesday, pinning him to the ground while he yelled for help.
For about 45 minutes, Earle Reckerds of Livermore Falls hollered until a neighbor caught his pleas about a quarter-mile away.
Hillary Foster, of 606 River Road, had opened her door to let her dogs out when she heard Reckerds’ call.
“I heard somebody yelling, super super loud,” she said.
Not knowing what kind of danger the man was in, she grabbed a high-powered pistol and climbed into her truck. She tried reaching Reckerds via a dirt road by her house but couldn’t reach him. And she tried hollering back.
“I tried to get his attention to let him know that somebody was going to dial 911,” she said, but, “I don’t think he could hear me because he was screaming so loud.”
She called 911 and then helped lead rescuers to the scene.
When they got there, police officers found Reckerds with his leg pinned under the chains of his skidder tire. And the machine was still running.
He said it had rolled back onto him.
“I didn’t hear it coming,” said Reckerds, who was met with help just after 9 a.m. “I was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Reckerds instructed Police officer Jason Johnson to back the machine off him while another officer, Rich Stanton, pulled him free. United Ambulance crews arrived minutes later and placed him onto a backboard.
The rescuers, who also included Lewiston firefighters, carried Reckerds through thick underbrush and fallen trees to a waiting ambulance. Despite a possible fractured ankle, he joked with responders.
He was taken to Central Maine Medical Center, where he was treated and released hours later.
Foster said she never ended up seeing the man she helped.
She had been hearing the loggers work on the land behind her home for about two months. Often, she was the only one around.
“He was definitely pretty lucky that I heard him,” she said.
To see more from the Sun Journal, visit sunjournal.com.