Letter: Grateful for Lillooet's first responders

To the Editor,

While driving back to Lillooet from Langley Dec. 21, our truck slid on black ice five minutes south of town on Highway 12.  Fortunately…somehow…our vehicle went into the mountain side versus down the cliff on the Fraser River side. With the help of a passing logging truck driver, we were both able to escape through the sunroof. A short time after calling 911, the fine people from Lillooet started arriving on scene. I was in shock and both of us were very shaken up and disorientated.

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Darlene and I feel very grateful for the dedicated professionals who took great care of us.

Dave Ralston and Challen Ferron from Lillooet Rescue were there in case we needed to be extricated from the truck.  Fire Chief Darren Oike was also on the scene to assist.

Paramedics Matt and Jane checked us out and brought us to the hospital. At the hospital we received prompt care and x-rays from Dr. Humber, the nurse on duty and the x-ray team.

Constable Jan Ruefli rounded up our three dogs at the accident scene and transported them in his RCMP vehicle and met me at the hospital. He went over his police report with me and instructed on the process with ICBC which I really appreciated...This was my first accident in 35 years of driving.  He also drove me and our three dogs back to our home so I could pick up our other vehicle and head back to the hospital to be with my wife. 

Later that evening as per the direction of Dr. Humber, Darlene was transferred to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops to undergo a CT scan.  I was allowed to accompany along the two-hour ambulance drive.  Paramedic Mike and driver Andrew were extremely caring and accommodating. These B.C. ambulance folks are compensated so little for the challenging tasks that they face everyday. Because of Mike's interesting conversations, the two-hour trip went by quickly. 

Both Darlene and I feel very lucky to have escaped this incident with only a few bruises and some post traumatic stress disorder. It's like we won the lottery and have a second shot at carrying on with our normal lives!  Lillooet and area is very lucky to have such dedicated professionals and medical staff watching our back.

Bruce and Darlene Lohnes

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