Student-athlete saves a life in canyon rollover


EMT training helped save the man's life
Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 10:35pm

On Dec. 3, 2011, Kyle VanAmen and his fiancée, Carlie Campbell, were driving northeast on Highway 6, returning to Price, when the vehicle in front of them rolled into the embankment off the right side of the road, near the rest area in the middle of the canyon. According to VanAmen, the vehicle hit ice and started sliding into the other lane of traffic. The driver then corrected twice. «I thought he had it,» he said, right before the vehicle rolled off the road.

VanAmen, seeing that there was no one else around, and being an EMT; decided to stop and help. «I told my fiancée to try to get other people to stop,» he said. He ran down the embankment to hear the man yelling, «help me! help me!» and find him waste deep in water.

According to VanAmen, it was clear to see exactly where the vehicle had rolled because of debris from the vehicle was scattered down the hill.

«I think he must have been ejected [from the vehicle], I don›t know how he would have been able to know which way was which after rolling three times.»

He asked the man if there was anyone else in the vehicles, when he was told no, he proceeded to lift the man out of the water. «It must have been pure adrenaline, the man was much bigger than me, and I was sore the next day.»

VanAmen then began an EMT assessment: asking what hurt and checking his body for blood and other injuries. The man stated that his tailbone and shoulder hurt, but that he was fine to walk up the hill. VanAmen walked behind the man, pushing him up. Other people stopped by now and were waiting at the top to help and provide blankets to keep the man warm.

Someone called 911, which took 45 minutes to arrive because of the distance between where the wreck had occurred and Spanish Fork City. VanAmen helped the man into a truck then shut the door, rolled down the window, and stood on the step. He talked to the man to keep him from going into shock while police and an ambulance were on their way. When they arrived, the man was loaded into the ambulance and VanAmen was back on the road again.

Because I was the only who saw him slide off the road, down the embankment and land upside down in the river, «I highly doubt he would have lived. He probably would have frozen to death,» said VanAmen,

Besides being an EMT, VanAmen is also a full-time student at USU Eastern and a member of the Eastern baseball team by day and works as a CNA at a local nursing home by night.

Filed under: news