Several weeks ago, while on their way to enjoy a powder day in the backcountry, Jay Nygard, of Minnesota, and Kahler Nygard, of Fraser, came upon an overturned SUV off the road on Highway 40. Noticing that the occupants were still in the vehicle, they stopped to help. Another vehicle also stopped and called 911, so the two headed to the SUV to see what they could do to help.
The vehicle was still running and they could smell what they thought to be burning fuel. They also noticed that interior of the SUV was filled with thick haze. They told the driver to shut the engine off and then helped pull the occupants, a man and a woman, out of the vehicle. They noted that the male was lightheaded, having sustained a bump to the head during the accident. The caustic fumes funneling through the inside of the vehicle could also have had an impact on his condition. The couple said they also had a dog in the car, and Jay went back to the SUV to search for the dog. Once located, and after breathing some fresh air, the owner was able to pull the dog out safely.
Jay and Kahler helped the accident victims get back up to the road and offered them their back seat to warm up while waiting for the Winter Park/Fraser Police Department and East Grand Fire to arrive. After turning the couple and their pup over to their capable hands, the two headed on to their backcountry adventures, where the smell of burnt fuel lingered in their vehicle for another week.
Thank you, Jay and Kahler, for stopping to help. It is neighbors like you that make us all proud to call Grand County home!
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IMPORTANT NOTE: If you encounter an accident like this, make sure your first action is to call 911. Trained Emergency Response personnel are most qualified to respond to these types of scenarios. Never put yourself in danger to assist anyone, and, use your best judgement when helping an accident victim(s).