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Citizen gives aid to Highway 138 crash victims

Sean Olney stopped to help after SUV flipped for unknown reasons

Posted: February 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.

By Jim Holt

Signal Senior Staff Writer


Sean Onley was driving along Highway 138 Sunday when he came across a horrific sight.

An SUV traveling ahead of him at about 65 miles an hour suddenly left the road, hit a fence and flipped up in the air, flipped again and again, and ejected its passenger before crashing to the ground, according to a report compiled by a California Highway Patrol investigator.

There were two occupants of the SUV — two young men from Lancaster.

Investigating CHP Officer Michael Karr identified the driver as 19-year-old Jose D. Tejeda and the passenger only as a 17-year-old minor from Lancaster.

According to Karr, the SUV was traveling eastbound on Highway 138 east of Ridge Route Road at 65 miles per hour when it flipped for unknown reasons.

For Sean Onley, who identified himself as a registered nurse, there was no question about what to do.

The challenge was to provide emergency medical treatment until paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department arrived.

The driver was walking around after the crash and the passenger, who had been ejected, was rolling in pain, Onley said during an interview Wednesday. The passenger had major injuries.

Treating the passenger proved to be Onley’s biggest challenge, he said.

“Jose was standing but I told him, ‘You need to sit down and stay down,’” he said.

The 17-year-old had suffered a broken femur — the largest bone in the human body — a dislocated shoulder, back injuries and neck injuries, he said.

“He was going in and out consciousness,” Onley said. “He was in a lot of agony.

“My main concern was to make sure his airway was clear and to stabilize him for the paramedics.

“He was trying to move his head,” he said.

At some point, another motorist stopped to help, got a “horse blanket” from her car and laid it over the two victims, Onley said.

Both young men were airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital, Fire Department Supervisor Melanie Flores said Sunday.

Tejeda was hospitalized in good condition, a hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Health information for the passenger was withheld because he is a minor, she said.


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