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What you should do when you see a motor vehicle crash

What you should do when you see a motor vehicle crash

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - According to Fremont County Emergency Management, Fremont County has experienced several motor vehicle crashes where victims have received serious injuries. 

"Don't become part of the accident, be sure to be aware of what's going on," said Sheriff of St. Anthony, Len Humphries. 

Often times bystanders with good intentions stop at a motor accident scene hoping to help, but there are a few things to keep in mind. 

For starters, make sure you don't stop in the middle of the road or too close to the scene. 

"You have a good idea pretty quick of how serious it is," said Humphries. 

Most of the time it's better not to remove the victim from the vehicle and just wait for the emergency responders to do so. 

"If they're bleeding, try to stop the bleeding but don't move them. So many times when people are injured, it's the movement of them that's more dangerous than anything else. Sometimes there is an exception to that if the car is on fire, and they're going to be burning up maybe you have to move them," said Humphries. 

Trapped victims are usually the safest left in the vehicle until they are extricated by an emergency responder. 

Although you shouldn't remove the victim from the vehicle, it can be helpful to stay with the victim. They will be scared, in pain and in shock, so having a friendly voice to hear or hand to hold can help them remain calm. 

"A lot of it would depend on what your expertise is, do you know how to do first-aid? Are you able to do CPR if that's needed? What's your level of comfort? You know it could be that the best thing would be to just pull over and call 911," said Humphries. 

When you call the dispatchers, they will want to know:

  • The location (highway mile marker or reference point) of the crash
  • If there are injuries and the number of victims
  • If there is anyone trapped
  • If there is a fire
  • If there is road blockage 

If there is a crowd of people already at the scene, it would be helpful if you kept driving unless you can provide a life-saving measure. 

If you witnessed the accident, make sure you stay on the scene until you speak with an officer, they will most likely want you to fill out a statement. 

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