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Who, What, When
Arts on view
luck and good instincts helped save a life in September. Five members
of Skidmore’s Ultimate Frisbee club, the Wombats, were driving
to Rochester, N.Y., for a game. It was about 6 a.m. when they witnessed
a head-on collision of a Chevrolet Cavalier and a tow truck. While
one student called 911 and another ran to a nearby home for help,
two others pulled the Chevy driver, nineteen-year-old Jennifer Martin,
from her car just before it caught fire. “If it wasn’t
for those guys, she would have died,” one paramedic said.
The plucky students—David Frazier ’04, Matthew Gershun
’06, David Lyons ’04, David Williamson ’04, and
Ian Williamson (no relation) ’06—comforted Martin, who
was injured and confused, until the ambulance arrived. When they
first approached the Chevy, Lyons and Ian Williamson saw flames
around the car’s hood. “It was just quiet. That was
really unsettling,” Williamson recalled. Martin was slumped
over and they hesitated to move her, but when the fire jumped to
the passenger seat they quickly pulled her out of the car. The students
carried her several yards away, and when they looked back the car
was consumed in flames. “We just felt lucky that we acted
in the right window of time,” Williamson said.
After interviews with police, the students continued on their way
to Rochester—where they discovered their game was actually
scheduled for the following day. Bad luck for them. Good luck for
Martin, who was airlifted to Albany Medical Center with a broken
femur and internal injuries.
Martin’s father quickly tracked down the good Samaritans at
Skidmore and expressed his thanks. The Saratogian, calling the students’
heroism “a welcome surprise” in today’s litigious
culture, quoted Martin’s cousin: “How often does that
happen in this world? It was a great thing they did.”
Adapted, with permission, from a story by Brendan McGarry in
the Saratogian of September 17, 2003.
|Editor's note: In October the five students were honored in a ceremony that included a state assemblyman, the state police, Saratoga's deputy mayor, two ambulance squads, and Martin and her family.