ST. PAUL, Minn. — A 77-year-old northern Minnesota man who had a heart attack behind the wheel and crashed his truck survived thanks to passersby, including a State Patrol trooper, an off-duty firefighter and a nurse, who pulled his lifeless body from the vehicle and performed CPR.
The crash happened Thursday just after 10:30 a.m. on Highway 2 near Cloquet. Wayne Waller and his friend, Mae Line, were traveling westbound when Waller became unresponsive and the Saginaw, Minn., man’s pickup truck crashed into some trees along the road.
Three motorists stopped to help: Off-duty Floodwood firefighter Robert Zobel, retired Fredenburg firefighter Mark Toms and citizen Lacey Silgjord. The trio pulled Waller from one of the truck’s windows and began CPR while State Patrol Sgt. Scott Parker raced to his squad and grabbed his automated external defibrillator.
The trooper shocked Waller with the AED and continued CPR along with Toms. Moments later an unidentified woman arrived stating she was a nurse and offering to provide rescue breaths through a mask to Waller.
The group continued with CPR and shocks from the AED until the ambulance arrived. Waller was taken to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth. Line was extracted from the vehicle and taken to Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet with non-life-threatening injuries. She has already been released.
“The quick actions of the trooper and the people who stopped to help saved this man’s life,” said State Patrol Capt. Steve Stromback. “This is just one example of the work troopers and other public safety officials do each day to help keep Minnesotans safe.”
Authorities are asking the unidentified nurse to contact State Patrol Sgt. Neil Dickenson at 218-830-0472 so she can be recognized along with the other citizens for her efforts.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
DPS comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire and pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Minnesota State Patrol
More than 500 Minnesota State Patrol troopers are the foundation of the agency that works to provide a safe environment on Minnesota’s roads by assisting motorists, taking enforcement action and educating drivers about traffic safety issues. In addition to road safety activities, troopers conduct flight patrols, search and rescue missions and assist other law enforcement agencies.