A teenaged girl was able to meet the man who may have saved her life after a crash on Highway 50. Mattie Alleva was traveling back from snowboarding with a friend when they hit a snowstorm and lost control of the vehicle near Strawberry. Luckily, El Dorado County investigator Dave Stevenson happened upon the scene and was able to render aid, probably saving the teen’s life.
Alleva says that the car was only traveling about 35 miles per hour, but that they hit ice and began to swerve and fishtail. Unable to control the skid, the teens crashed into another vehicle, that sent their car spinning down the embankment. When the car came to rest, Alleva was trapped with her head stuck against the dashboard. She did not realize it at the time, but her neck was broken in two places. She could smell gas leaking but was unable to move.
Stevenson, who was passing by, came down the embankment, quickly assessed the scene and broke the windshield to reach Alleva. He managed to pull her out of the car and kept her still until an ambulance could arrive.
Alleva now wears a halo to keep her head immobile and allow her to heal. Doctors say that she could easily have been paralyzed or lost her life in the accident. Her friend was not injured in the crash. Alleva calls Stevenson her “guardian angel.”
Should I Help Someone Who Is Trapped In A Vehicle?
While it may seem an open-and-shut matter to help someone in a trapped vehicle, there are actually times when it causes more harm than good to interfere. Examples might be:
- When someone suffers a serious neck or back injury. Anyone who suffers a neck or back injury and is not in immediate danger should be left until EMTs arrive with a hardback board on which to immobilize the victim. It can be dangerous to move such a victim and may cause the injury to become worse. However, if the victim is in immediate danger, it is better to move him or her carefully, trying not to injure the head, neck or back.
- When the victim is trapped by wreckage but not being harmed at the time. You can hurt someone by trying to move him or her through twisted metal and broken glass. If the victim is okay, wait for the first responders.
However, if the victim is unresponsive or is clearly in danger or in pain, you may need to remove the victim from the wreckage carefully. California law protects “good Samaritans” who help others in these situations.
Contact Ashley Injury Lawyers Group immediately if you are injured in a car accident to discuss your case and how to collect compensation for your injuries.