Man to receive award for saving Kennewick woman from fiery car crash

October 1, 2013 

A Western Washington man will receive a special award Friday for saving a Kennewick woman from a fiery car crash in June, the Oregon State Patrol said.

Robert Robeck, 43, of Yacolt, stopped to help Ketsy Roeder, 60, of Kennewick, at 10:30 a.m. June 10 on Interstate 84 near Cascade Locks after he saw her car travel onto the right shoulder and lose control, the state patrol said.

Roeder’s 2010 Toyota Camry struck a rock mound, went airborne and continued up an embankment into trees before rolling over several times and coming to rest on its top on the highway shoulder, the state patrol said.

The overturned vehicle caught fire as several people stopped at the scene and approached it. As the majority of people stood by while the driver laid unconscious inside, Robeck kicked out a rear side window as the fire began to spread, the state patrol said.

A group of people rolled the vehicle onto its side and then Robeck used a baseball bat provided by another person and broke out the car’s sunroof, the state patrol said.

Reaching inside, Robeck cut off the safety belt and with the help of several others and pulled the woman out of the burning car, moving her away while waiting for firefighters to arrive, the state patrol said.

Firefighters responded and extinguished the fire that had also spread up the embankment into nearby trees. Medical personnel treated the woman at the scene and then took Roeder to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries, the state patrol said.

Robeck will receive an emergency medical service award Friday during the 2013 Oregon EMS Awards Program’s annual banquet in Bend, Ore.

He was selected to receive the Civilian Service Medal following his nomination by the state police. The award recognizes a civilian who provides extraordinary service during the course of an EMS emergency. Robeck will be joined by family members when he receives the award.

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