Tuesday, October 27, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 43 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“I’m proud to be from Crowsnest Pass, and I want everyone else to be proud.”
- Joey Ambrosi  
- on receiving the   
Order of Crowsnest Pass   

 

 
Displaying presence of mind and determination beyond her years, five-year-old Mary Butler of Lundbreck is being hailed as a hero by her family after her quick reaction to a horrific vehicle collision saved her mother's life.
It snowed the morning of Tuesday, October 13, and mother Nikki Butler decided to use her boyfriend's truck instead of her van, because of the ice on the roads. She strapped her five-year-old daughter into a booster seat in the middle of the back seat, so that Mary could watch through the front window, and together they headed west from Lundbreck on Highway 3.
Just east of the Leitch Collieries, the unthinkable happened. The truck lost control on ice and slid across the highway, catching the beginning of a guard rail and rolling down a steep bank into a ravine beside the highway.
The truck crumpled around the occupants, and Nikki suffered numerous injuries and fell unconscious. Her left arm was broken, along with her nose and cheekbone. She suffered compression fractures on two of her vertebrae, and a serious laceration across her face and head, possibly caused by the windshield, which broke out of the vehicle.
Mary, with the roof crumpling in around her and two loose booster seats flying around in the back, was completely and miraculously unharmed except for some bruising on her hips caused by the seatbelt.
The truck was positioned in the ravine such that traffic from the highway would have been unlikely to notice it.
 
When five-year-old Mary could not get her mother to respond, she climbed out the truck window and climbed up the steep, snowy embankment, back to the highway. There she waved down a Volker Stevin sanding truck and told the driver that her mom needed help.
Emergency crews arrived and were able to cut open the vehicle to remove Nikki, who was unconscious and bleeding. She was taken to the Pincher Creek hospital, and from there to Calgary.
"She's my angel," says Nikki, who cannot remember anything from the point of hitting the icy patch on the road until two days later, when she woke up in the hospital in Calgary. "She saved my life. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here."
Nikki says that Mary told the EMS personnel she thought her mother had died, because she couldn't get her to talk. From the hospital, Nikki says she could not fully believe that her daughter was unharmed until she could see her with her own two eyes. When mother and daughter were reunited at the hospital later in the week, there were a great deal of hugs and tears.
"I'm baffled," says Nikki. "I'm honestly baffled. I can't believe that she thought to climb out of the window and climb 150 feet to get help. There was somebody looking out for us that day."
Nikki returned home from the hospital on October 19, and is recovering. Mary has been doing well, and is still as full of energy as any five-year-old girl should be. She is currently attending kindergarten at Lundbreck School.
Thanks to the quick actions of this brave young girl, her family can put this frightening and terrible incident behind them, happy that everyone is still safe and together.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 43 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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