Motorists on foot chase down & stop car with unconscious driver; Heroics occurred on U.S. Energy lawn
Officer Anthony Armstrong of the RPD gathered personal items from the car, left, as officer Jacob Nation talked with the Good Samaritans next to the street. (Ernie Over photo)
(Riverton, Wyo.) – A substitute teacher at Riverton High School and another motorist came to the aid of an unconscious driver and were able to stop the vehicle after it jumped a sidewalk and drove through the front lawn at the U.S. Energy Headquarters this morning. The vehicle missed a power pole, a statue, and three large trees before two women were able to push the vehicle to a stop. Police had to break out a passenger side window in the vehicle to rescue the unconscious female driver and her two-year-old child because the doors were all locked. The child was safely secured in a back seat child restraint seat.
“She was driving in front of me as we were driving eastbound on West Sunset,” said Laurie Morgan. All of a sudden her car started drifting off the side of the street into the dirt and she was hunched over the wheel. I jumped out and ran after her car with two other people.” The vehicle crossed North 8th West, jumped the curb and sidewalk and slowly drove across the lawn. “I ran alongside the car trying to get the door open, but it was locked, so I ran in front of the car and started pushing on it to make it stop,” she said. “They told me that was not a very good idea, but it worked. We then called 911.” Angela Bihr said she also tried to get the door open or a window broken to stop the car, she later told County10.com.
Morgan, and fellow motorists Bridgett Gardner and Bihr said they were concerned because of the baby in the back seat, but were told to wait for police before taking any further action.
When officers arrived, the side window was broken out. “The child was calm until we broke the window out, then he started crying,” said officer Anthony Armstrong at the scene. An ambulance drove onto the lawn and pulled up next to the car, the woman was taken into the ambulance, where she later regained consciousness. It is believed the driver’s blackout was due to a medical condition.
Meanwhile, as police and the EMS crew assisted getting the driver medical attention, Morgan and Bihr took the two-year-old child to one of their vehicles to comfort him and keep him warm. A short time later Sgt. Jason Romberg of the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department arrived to take care of the child who was his nephew.
Reggie Larsen, who left his office in the U.S. Energy Building, also came outside to help. “It was a miracle she didn’t hit anything,” Larsen said, looking back at the tire tracks left in the lawn. The car somehow stayed in a straight line and drove between a power pole and trees and a large statue on the property before it was stopped.
The driver was taken to Riverton Memorial Hospital.
Photos by Ernie Over. Mouse over for captions. Click to enlarge