Wonderful response to crash

To the editor:

On Wednesday morning, Jan. 8, as we were about to leave for work, my husband Eric and I answered a phone call from our son Garth. He had been driving home from his overnight shift, skidded off the road near the airport, went through a power pole and ended up in a deep ditch. We immediately called Madden’s Towing and the New York state troopers. We then bundled our younger son off to school and drove out to Lake Clear from our home in Saranac Lake.

Imagine our surprise to find the troopers, as well as fire and rescue personnel, already there! Mike Madden appeared in his powerful tow truck just behind us. Despite the treacherous road conditions and the bitter cold, these professionals had arrived at the scene in almost unbelievable time.

Miraculously, our son was unhurt, though the vehicle was grotesquely mangled. I had been planning to take him to the hospital after we picked him up, but he had already been given a thorough examination by the rescue service. Brendan Keough of the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department reassured us with the kindness of a parent addressing another parent, and the warmth of an old friend.

The situation was extremely dangerous to all present, including the passing motorists, and the troopers took control with courtesy and extreme professionalism. They were also very kind to all of us, and the trooper interviewing Garth allowed him to pause and hug his distraught mother. Though they were empathetic, the officers were also stern, warning our son in terms he will never forget of the dangers inherent to poor road conditions and broken power lines.

Mike Madden exhibited the highest level of expertise and professionalism as well. Our ruined car was at about a 40-degree angle, nose down in an icy, brambly ditch, but he extracted it with such apparent ease that he might have been shifting a child’s toy off a sand hill.

Eric, Garth and I wish to state publicly our deep gratitude and respect for all the professionals (paid and volunteer) who turned a horrific event into a symphony of skill and precision. It is easy to overlook the practice of such excellent service in our area – until it is needed!

Sincerely yours,

Susan, Eric and Garth Olsen

Saranac Lake