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Someone was watching over them

November 15, 2012
We are writing to you in hopes this letter will be published to honor some very remarkable people whose lives crossed on Friday, November 9, 2012. My husband Derek and I were traveling from Creston B.C. to Sandpoint. At approximately 9:15 a.m. just south of Bonner’s Ferry, we were one of the first vehicles on the scene of a horrific crash that involved a pickup truck, an SUV and a semi with a low bed trailer hauling a CAT.

As we jumped out of our truck a young man also exited his car. This young man was dressed in black dress pants and dress shoes and when Derek jumped the guardrail the young guy did not hesitate to follow him over the bank to check the man in the semi.

As I was going to the pickup truck another man informed me there were three people in the truck, two of them children. He was wearing a uniform shirt with Pepsi written on it and had a jacket on which he later removed to put on a child in the truck.

Another woman driving a SWIFT Transport semi ran back to her truck for paper towels, water and blankets for the victims.

One gentleman made the 911 call, allowing us to assess the injured people and start first aid. He was able to relay information to the dispatcher so appropriate rescue would be sent.

I know there were also other people around doing everything they could do, such as calling family members. I am not sure how long it took the State police and rescue to get there as time seemed to stop.

I know during that time the Pepsi man and the female trucker (I later found out her name was Gee-Gee) were comforting the children and the mother while I stabilized the young child in the front seat.

I am sure there were others helping, but they were outside my line of vision, plus the semi that was involved was quite a ways down the highway. At some point Gee-Gee had put her own jacket over my shoulders, she said I was shivering.

I am sure she was too.

The sound of sirens approaching was an incredible sound and next thing I knew I felt a hand on my shoulder and saw the face of the sheriff that it belonged to. He reassured us that rescue was on the way and that we were doing a great job in trying to keep the family stable and calm.

His presence there was a relief as we knew that others would be coming. He also wanted to know if we were handling things okay as it was freezing cold and a traumatic situation for all of us.

When the sounds of more sirens were heard I think we all gave a sigh of relief.

The paramedics and the rescue workers started arriving and taking care of the patients, but also making sure we were all okay too. I stayed until the little boy was loaded in the ambulance and was going to return to my truck to warm up when Chief Deputy Rich Stephens called to me and asked if I would go hold the little girl's hand as she was moved to the ambulance.

His words were “please go with her and hold her hand, so she won’t be scared” that melted my heart, in all that chaos and commotion this man was so compassionate.

The paramedics in the ambulance were so gentle and comforting to this little girl and doing their best to reassure her she was okay.

The citizens who were at this crash did not hesitate to help in any way they could, and we are so grateful they were there and hope that if any of them read this letter that they know how much they did and how important they were.

I can not tell you names of the paramedics, fire, rescue, other sheriffs, highway workers or tow truck drivers, as I do not know them, but I can tell you I think that these men and women are true heroes as they are out there everyday for people.

I was outside for about an hour and I was frozen, these first responders were out there for over three hours.

It takes very special people to do the work they do, they risk their lives and compromise their own safety every day and I honor each and every one of them and say THANK YOU!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people involved in the crash and their families.
Gaylene Keyes and Derek Vance
Creston, B.C.
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That was a beautiful letter!! We are truly blessed to live in an area with so many loving and caring people. How very true!! There is no place on earth I would rather live than in Boundary County.
Elaine Wheatley
Bonners Ferry
Wonderful letter, she hit the nail on the head, we are so lucky to have such wonderful services in this county. My Thanks to them all also.
Audrey Schenck
Bonners Ferry