Leadville Resident Saves Lives During River Rescue
When you live up in the mountains and travel on curvy, icy roadways, often times, it’s fellow motorists who are the “first responders” at the scene of an accident. That was the case, nearly one year ago March 12 2014 on I-70 in Eagle County. And thanks to a Lake County resident, a mother and her two small children, along with the family pet got out alive.
On February 17, Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue Chief Dan Dailey recognized Leadvillite A.J. Deachneau with a certificate for “achievements in the superior performance of duty.”
AJ and his father, Austin were on their way to go duck hunting traveling on I-70 in Eagle County, when a vehicle ahead of them swerved off the highway, launched about 60 feet into the air, and landed in the Eagle River, UPSIDEDOWN! The two men immediately stopped to offer assistance.
Because of where they went off the highway, “had AJ and his father not seen the accident happen, the car might not have been seen by other passing motorists from I-70,” said Chief Dailey as he presented the honor at the Feb. 17 Board of County Commissioners meeting.
AJ headed towards the icy waters with his trusty pocket knife, while his father stayed at the shoreline to assess the situation and be ready to offer assistance. Inside the car, AJ found a mother, with two small children and a dog. He cut the young boy out of his car seat, and brought him over to Austin, then he returned to the vehicle for the young girl that was still trapped with significant injuries. A.J. cut her out of her car seat as well. The mother was able to get out of the car herself, but had a laceration on her head. She was helped to the shoreline and reunited with her two children. But there was still one passenger left, Austin saw the family pet swimming around in the river and was able to scoop him up as well, reuniting the dog the rest of the family.
“While it’s very rare for civilians to be able to save lives in the same way that firefighters and emergency responders do,” said Chief Dailey during the accommodation presentation at the Board of County Commissioners Meeting, “A.J. Deachneau, an employee of the road and bridge department did.”
Deachneau received a certificate and a medal for his brave actions that recued this young family. Nice job, AJ! By performing this selfless act, AJ undoubtedly saved their lives!