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
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
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
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
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
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
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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
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.