Archive for Thursday, March 22, 2007

Crash on U.S. 56 awakens memories of accident

March 22, 2007

By Mike Belt

Shelby Dodson doesn't remember the accident that put her in the hospital three weeks ago with a concussion and three broken ribs.

But when she stopped to help at the scene of a truck crash on U.S. Highway 56 on Wednesday afternoon, images of what happened to her began to unfold.

"I didn't recall most of my accident, and then seeing this today -- pieces of my memory came back for the first time," Dodson, 38, of Baldwin City, said.

The arrival of emergency medical personnel and an air ambulance helicopter may have spurred that memory, Dodson thinks. She, too, was transported to a hospital by a helicopter.

"I remember seeing the bottom of the helicopter as it was landing," Dodson said. "I haven't got my memory back but I had glimpses of things here and there as I was sitting there today."

Dodson's accident occurred Feb. 27 in the 1100 section of North 650 Road, about five miles south of Lawrence.

She spent a week in the hospital and then recuperated at home. Wednesday was her first day out of the house. She was driving west along U.S. 56 when she saw a dump truck up ahead of her suddenly spin around "as if it was blown by the wind," she said.

According to a Kansas Highway Patrol report, the truck was westbound about two miles west of Baldwin City when it left the highway, entered a ditch and hit a culvert. The driver, Craig A. Worley, 48, of Lawrence, was taken to Kansas University Hospital by Lifestar helicopter.

A condition report on Worley was not available Wednesday night.

Dodson was one of the first to stop at the accident where she tried to help the bleeding driver.

"I was concerned. I sort of knew what he was experiencing," she said. "I just got up into the cab and spoke to him. I was trying to assess his condition."

Worley told Dodson how to phone his wife and inform her what had happened, she said.

After emergency crews arrived, Dodson suddenly recognized one of the medical crewmen. He was one of those who had helped her at her accident. She asked the medic if he recalled being at a four-wheeler accident three weeks earlier.

"He looked at me and said, 'that was you. I can't believe you are out and around,'" Dodson said. "I was able to thank him and he acknowledged me."

Dodson said the medic wouldn't give his name "because they aren't supposed to." She thinks he was with the Clarion Springs Emergency Medical Service.

Dodson was on her way home from her job of taking care of a resident at the Baldwin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center when she saw the accident.

"I'm glad I got to thank him," she said of the medic.

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