Archive for Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Cell call to 911 helped save life

August 13, 2003

A cellular telephone could have meant the difference Tuesday between life and death for a rural Tonganoxie man.

According to Leaven-worth County sheriff's officers, Russell Haring, 79, was either opening or closing a gate to a pasture he owns about eight miles southwest of Tonganoxie Tuesday morning. Haring's 1994 Ford four-wheel drive F-150 pickup truck moved forward, knocking Haring face-down on top of the gate. The wheels of the truck, which was pulling a trailer, came to rest on the back of Haring's legs, officers said.

Sheriff's Deputy Floyd Craig and Sgt. Charlie Yates said Haring apparently called 911 for help, using his cell phone.

"When I pulled up, all I saw was shoes -- until I went around," said Craig, who arrived at the accident scene about a quarter-mile off 254th Street about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, only about four minutes after Haring made the call. "I backed the truck off of him."

Within about 45 minutes after the accident, Haring was flow by air ambulance to the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., where he was listed in fair condition Tuesday afternoon.

The accident scene, which is north of Stillwell Road, is secluded and not visible from 254th Street.

"God only knows how long he would have been out there, if he hadn't had the phone," Yates said. "It worked out for the best."

In addition to sheriff's officers, Reno Township and Tonganoxie City fire departments, along with Leavenworth County Emergency Medical Services, responded to the accident.

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