Butler County Times Gazette
  • Skelly staff members react quickly to accident

  • Leta Kocher and Jill Armijo said they didn’t do it for the recognition, it was simply what they “should” do. Kocher, a para at Skelly Elementary School in El Dorado, and Armijo, the school nurse, were the first to on the scene of an accident on Highway 254 last week.
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  • Leta Kocher and Jill Armijo said they didn’t do it for the recognition, it was simply what they “should” do. Kocher, a para at Skelly Elementary School in El Dorado, and Armijo, the school nurse, were the first to on the scene of an accident on Highway 254 last week.
    They were traveling with the students on a field trip to Prairie Rose Western Days when the car in between the two buses rolled.
    Kocher was in one of the busses, while Armijo was following in her own car.
    “I saw the car rolling into the ditch,” Kocher said. “I saw the tire first and thought it had come off of the other bus.”
    Then she realized it was a car.
    “My first instinct was to jump up and go,” she said.
    She asked the bus driver to stop, which he did after he turned off of the highway and she jumped out before it had even come to a stop.
    “I just took off running,” she said. “I didn’t know what I would find when I got there.”
    This was instinct to Kocher, who had gone through an EMT class about seven years ago.
    “My parents always taught me if I can do something, then do it,” she added.
    “Who wouldn’t want to try to help?” added Armijo.
    Armijo pulled up and stopped when she saw Kocher running then saw the car.
    “I grabbed my first aid kit and ran,” she said. “It was scary because I had no idea how they would be.”
    “I know I was really relieved when I saw you come running down the hill with that bag in your hand,” Kocher added.
    Thankfully, both were alert. It was an elderly couple in their 70s or 80s in the car.
    Armijo went to the woman in the car and held her hand, trying to comfort her, while Kocher tended to the man.
    “She kept trying to get out,” Armijo said.
    The car came to rest on its top, so they were hanging by their seatbelts.
    Armijo got her bandages out and they tended to their cuts. She had crawled into the backseat to check on the woman.
    Once they were ready, they pulled the two from the vehicle while supporting their heads and necks with the help of other passers-by who had stopped to help.
    “There was a lot of people who started stopping,” Armijo said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Kocher offered a huge thanks to those who stopped.
    One of those who stopped was the mother of one of the students who was following along for the field trip, who also was an RN, as well as the school resource officer, Tyler Nielsen.
    It was not long before the first emergency responders arrived on the scene.
    “Considering the condition of the car they were very, very lucky,” Kocher said, adding that they were surprisingly calm.”
    “We were explaining every step,” Armijo added.
    The couple only had minor injuries.
     
    Julie Clements can be reached at jclements@butlercountytimesgazette.com.

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