AWhen Jayme Erickson was called to the scene around 4:30 p.m. on November 15, the paramedic had no idea who the young woman she found at the scene of the accident was. Two vehicles collided near the town of Airdrie in southern Canada. The passenger was locked in the car, her injuries were so severe that Erickson could no longer recognize her.
Twenty minutes later, Erickson’s colleague Richard Reed said, Erickson tried to save the 17-year-old’s life. She made sure the young woman’s cervical spine remained upright and she could breathe. It was cold and it took a while before she could be freed from the car and finally flown to the hospital in a helicopter.
Erickson drove home, her shift was over. In a Facebook post, she recounts what happened next: “A few minutes after I entered the door, the doorbell rang. It was the police. She told me that my daughter had been in a serious accident.” The teenager, injured beyond recognition, had been Montana Dobry. “My own flesh and blood, my only child, my mini-me,” writes Erickson.
A common fear among emergency responders
The police took her to the hospital. There Erickson was told that Montana’s injuries were so serious that she would not survive. The 17-year-old died four days later. “My worst nightmare as a paramedic has come true,” writes Erickson. She cannot describe the pain she feels.
Reed tearfully explained the course of the accident in a press conference on Tuesday: Montana and a friend drove back from walking a dog on November 15 when the friend lost control of the vehicle. Her car was hit by an oncoming truck. When Erickson and he drove back after the mission, the paramedic still talked about how tragic this accident must be for the young woman’s family.
The accident caused a stir in the small town of Airdrie. The chief of the local fire department said, also in a cracked voice, that he had watched Montana grow up with his own children. He knows the fear of being called to an operation and finding your child, your wife or a friend there.