An Allegan County Sheriff’s deputy from Martin and three area citizens Wednesday evening received citations for saving a life last fall in a traffic crash in Martin Township.
Deputy Vonda Evers, who was a standout athlete at Martin High School as a youth, and Osvaldo Guevara of Shelbyville, Doreen Hilton of Martin and Cassey Ribble of Plainwell were presented with lifesaving awards for their heroic actions Oct. 15 in a one-vehicle crash on 116th Avenue near 8th Street. The driver, Nora Dodsworth, 83, had suffered a medical condition that caused her to run off the roadway and crash into a tree.
Guevara, Hilton and Ribble all stopped at the scene of the crash before any first responders. They found Dodsworth alone in her vehicle that had run off the roadway across a ditch and into a tree. She was unresponsive and was locked in her vehicle.
Guevara was able to use a tire iron to break a back window and he and Ribble then were then able to unlock the front door. The victim was still unresponsive and no pulse could be felt. Both were able to pull Nora from the vehicle. Ribble, a firefighter, and Hilton, a nurse, were then able to begin CPR, which saved Dodsworth’s life.
Deputy Evers arrived at the scene to find CPR in progress and retrieved a defibrillator (AED) from her patrol vehicle. She used the AED to deliver two shocks to Dodsworth. Treatment was continued until personnel from the Martin Fire Department and Wayland Area EMS arrived on the scene to take over care.
As od nine days later, Dodsworth had been removed from life support, had completed bypass surgery and was recovering well.
Sgt. Cory Hunt of the Allegan Sheriff’s Department said, “Due to the efforts of citizens Osvaldo Guevara, Doreen Hilton and Cassey Ribble and Deputy Vonda Evers, Nora Dodsworth’s life was saved on Oct. 15. Each of them used life saving skills and acted on their duty to help someone in need.
“Without their efforts, this incident would have ended much differently. They are to be commended for their actions.”
PHOTO: Martin area nurse Doreen Hilton receives her plaque from Undersheriff Frank Baker.
Martin High School graduate Deputy Vonda Evers is congratulated by Undersheriff Frank Baker.