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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:05 pm 

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On a recent snowy Saturday morning, an extraordinary event happened on U.S. Hwy. 51 right outside of Tomahawk. Some ordinary people, along with a couple of seasoned EMS workers, all got together and helped save the life of a young girl. The act demonstrates that, once again, the Northwoods has some of the best employees, residents and visitors anyone could ask for.
It started as a simple drive south in the family van on U.S. Hwy. 51 for Wendy Schuman and her 10-year-old daughter, Kimberly. The day changed drastically, however, when the van hit a patch of ice, lost control and rolled over, ejecting Kimberly.

It should be noted that a witness told the investigating deputy that Wendy was not traveling at a high rate of speed when she attempted to pass a slow-moving vehicle. Additionally, Kimberly had been properly belted, but removed it for just for a moment to grab something that fell to the floor. How many parents know how often that happens, not only with their children, but with themselves, too? Who would ever expect that a crash would happen at that exact moment? But in the blink of an eye, it did.

In that frightening moment, several motorists put aside their own weekend plans, stopped on the highway and rushed to help and start digging the young girl free as she lay trapped from the chest up under the vehicle. Soon, Brian Teeters and Steve Taskay from Tomahawk EMS were on the scene to lend their years of experience to the effort.

It must have seemed like an eternity, but in a matter of minutes, Kimberly was free and heading to the hospital. She was then air-flighted by helicopter to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield and released the following day after being treated for her injuries.
This, all in thanks to the efforts of the many strangers – people who probably will never find out what happened to her – as well as our local Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department deputies and dispatchers, Tomahawk EMS workers, Tomahawk firefighters. While everyone continues on their way, knowing they did the right thing, we want to recognize how important their efforts were for this child and how crucial they continue to be in the future.

Everyone in Tomahawk knows what is like to hear that helicopter come in, most say a prayer for whomever it is coming for. Not many people realize what a wonderful system we have in place until they need it. Here’s credit to those people who dedicate themselves to protecting us – from the trooper, deputy, paramedic and EMT, or just the bystander with a shovel on a cold February morning. Together they all saved a life, and what a beautiful thing that is.

Donation sought
Wendy Schuman, who suffers from a disability and is unable to work, is not able to afford a new vehicle at this time after the family van was damaged in the accident. Anyone willing to help, or who has a vehicle to donate, may call Neighbors In Need at 453-5939.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:33 am 
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Perhaps she wasn't traveling at a high rate of speed, but it was obviously too fast for conditions. Could the road conditions have been the reason the other car was driving slow. When the other cars on the road slow down there usually is a reason ! I have seen a few instances of this in my travels and a couple of times they ended up in the ditch for the same reason.
Fortunatly they weren't badly hurt, but I hope next time the roads are bad that this is a lesson learned.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:42 am 
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Old Scout,

I both agree with you and disagree.

I was on the road heading toward Sheboygan the day of the most deadly accident in Wisconsin. I distinctly remember mumbling under my breath that all the idiots passing me at full speed with no lights on in the thick fog were going to crash. Unfortunately, many of them did.

However, I've also been extremely frustrated because I'm stuck behind cars going 30 MPH because they can see a couple snow flakes in the air. That may justify slowing down some but not quite to those speeds. Also, once you're holding up a mile of traffic why not simply pull over and let them around? (I don't believe that wasn't the case in this situation).

Without knowing all the details it's impossible to say what happened here. Did the car just pull on the highway or was it preparing to pull off? Was the whole road bad or did they simply hit one patch of ice (I know I've seen that numerous times even on clear days).

Either way, drive carefully everyone!

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