Help From On High
more of the mud under himwhile also starting an IV. Themiracle of the situation was that he was lying in a slight V-shaped depression; the sloping sides of the embankment supported much of the Chevy's weight. And although the slippery mud made navigating on the hillside hard for the emergency personnel, the heavy rain proved to be a blessing, for it had softened the ground enough that it gave under the weight of both Mike and the truck.
The Meunier's wrecker arrived quickly on the scene and backed perpendicularly across the highway—its rear bumper resting against the guardrail. The firefighters attached its cable to a hook on the undercarriage of the blue pickup and then signaled to the driver to take up the slack, preventing the pickup from sliding any further. Lateral movement was now the rescuers' main concern. A call went out for chocks—16-by-6-inch wooden blocks—to help stabilize the truck. Nicki Buck doffed her heavy firefighter's "bunker coat" and dashed back to the engine, returning with a plastic milk crate full of blocks and then sliding them down the embankment to waiting hands. The rain had stopped by then, but the rescuers were laboring under increasingly oppressive heat and humidity.
Sue had been told to stay where she was, for fear any movement might cause the truck to shift. She lay there quietly, listening to the muffled sounds of the emergency personnel working feverishly to extricate her husband.
Once the rain stopped, sunlight poured in through the truck's smashed back window. Soaking wet and covered inmud, Sue welcomed the warmth on her head and shoulders. Wedged in as she was, her only view was down through the remains of Mike's side window, toward the mud and mangled grass just 18 inches
Sue Newman had been told to stay where she was, for fear any movement might cause the truck to shift. She lay there quietly, listening to the muffled sounds of the emergency personnel working feverishly to extricate her husband.
from her face. She remained calm but grew increasingly worried about Mike. Then, with a sinking feeling, she remembered the family members who would soon be waiting at the pizzeria, wondering what had happened to them.
The rain rolling through the Upper Valley on that late June afternoon had the personnel at the DHART hangar concerned. In bad weather, their two air-rescue helicopters were grounded. When that happened, anyone in critical