Carbon Firefighter saves lives



A Carbon resident and 15-year veteran volunteer firefighter, Neil Bertsch came to the rescue of a Carbon-area woman and her child last Friday, October 15, when the car she was driving (likely westbound) veered off into a field after side-swiping his half-ton truck (eastbound) on Hwy. 575, about eight miles east of Carbon at around 4:00 p.m. Neil turned his vehicle around and was eventually able to overtake her car, positioning himself in front of her and forcing her vehicle to a stop. Due to a medical emergency she was not in control of her vehicle at the time and remained unresponsive until just before Kneehill Ambulance arrived. She had a child under the age of five in a child restraint in the back.
Vehicle tracks indicated she had been going in and out of the ditch along the highway before hitting Neil's truck, and was coming out of the ditch when she hit him. The crash deflected her vehicle off into the ditch again, at which time she continued to keep her foot on the gas pedal, traveling over a half a mile into the field before Neil could get her stopped. He had to break the window to gain access and turn the ignition off.
Thanks to the quick thinking of Carbon's volunteer firefighter, a tragedy was likely avoided and no one was seriously injured.
Carbon and Linden Fire Departments, along with Kneehill Ambulance, were dispatched to the scene. RCMP from the Drumheller detachment are investigating.