On-Star technology credited with saving life of Arkansas man

Thursday, May 25, 2006

An Arkansas man was moderately injured Friday morning in an accident on Highway 86 two miles west of Eagle Rock.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Bobby Collier, 74, of Holiday Island, Ark., was driving a 2000 Cadillac that travelled off the right side of the roadway, struck several trees and overturned.

"On-Star was vital in finding him," said Jim Clay, pastor of the Lighthouse Church in Eagle Rock and chaplain of the Eagle Rock, Mano, Golden Fire Protection District. "If he hadn't had On-Star, we wouldn't have found him in time."

After Collier's accident, an On-Star representative notified the Barry County Sheriff's Department dispatch of the accident location and helped direct emergency response personnel to the scene.

As a member of the Eagle Rock Fire Department, Clay also received notification of the accident. Clay followed dispatch directions to find Collier and offer assistance at the scene.

"It was called in at Highways 86 and F," said Clay. "Later, On-Star gave the landmark of Farm Road 2260 and said the accident was one mile from there."

Several emergency vehicles passed by the vehicle, which was well hidden in brush alongside the roadway, said Clay. The Cox Hospital-Springfield air ambulance also circled the area but could not locate the automobile accident.

"The car was off the road where you could just barely see it, but it was right where they said it would be," said Clay.

After finding the scene of the accident, Clay made his way down the steep embankment, which runs alongside the road, to check the car.

"I could see movement inside the car, which was on its top, but I couldn't get any answer," said Clay. "Soon after I arrived other emergency personnel were on the scene to help him."

The Eagle Rock Fire Department used the Jaws of Life to cut foliage away from Collier's automobile and remove the injured man from his vehicle.

After Collier was secured to a backboard, emergency personnel formed a human chain by linking hands and pulled him to safety.

Collier was airlifted to Cox South Hospital in Springfield. The crash occurred at 9:20 a.m. The Patrol report indicated that Collier was wearing his seat belt.

Other traffic crashes

- A Springfield man was severely injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident on Farm Road 2275 six miles east of Seligman on Friday. Christopher Stark, 26, ran his 2001 Kawasaki ATV off the roadway and overturned. Stark was ejected from the ATV. He was airlifted to Cox Hospital in Springfield. The accident occurred at 10:15 p.m.

- An Eagle Rock teen was moderately injured in a two-vehicle accident on Highway 112 three miles south of Cassville last Thursday. The accident occurred as Timothy Conklin, 19, who was driving a 2006 Suzuki motorcycle, attempted to pass Justin Rawlings, 17, of Cassville. At the same time, Rawlings pulled out in his 1988 Chevrolet, and Conklin rearended Rawlings. Conklin was taken by ambulance to Cox-Monett Hospital. Rawlings was uninjured in the accident. The accident occurred at 3:02 p.m. The Patrol report indicated that Rawlings was wearing a seat belt and Conklin was wearing a helmet.

- On Saturday, a Jenkins man was moderately injured in a one-vehicle accident on Highway 76 five miles east of Jenkins. The accident occurred when Roger Jackson, 24, failed to stop his 1996 Jeep Cherokee at a stop sign, continued off the roadway and struck a tree. Jackson was taken to St. John's Hospital-Cassville. The crash occurred at 10:20 p.m. The Patrol report indicated that Jackson was not wearing a seat belt.

- Two teenagers were injured in a one-vehicle accident on Highway YY one-half mile east of Shell Knob on Friday. The accident occurred as Casey Bernson, 18, of Shell Knob, who was driving a 1994 Yamaha motorcycle, attempted to pass a slow moving vehicle as it was making a left turn. Bernson veered off the left side of the roadway and struck a ditch. Bernson and Krista McAtee, 17, of Lampe, were taken by ambulance to Cox South Hospital in Springfield and treated for minor injuries. The accident occurred at 11:30 a.m. The Patrol report indicated that both Bernson and McAtee were wearing helmets.

- Last Wednesday, a Springfield woman was injured in a two-vehicle accident on Highway 97 two miles south of Pulaskifield. The accident occurred as Melva Gressley, 63, of Monett, pulled her 2001 Pontiac into the path of a 2005 Honda driven by Denise Jones, 42, of Springfield. Jones was taken to Cox Monett Hospital where she was treated for minor injuries. The crash occurred at 5:25 p.m. The Patrol report indicated that both Gressley and Jones were wearing seat belts.

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