What started out as a fun mother-daughter day in the Valley ended with a trip to the hospital for one Kings County family.
Earlier this year, on May 22, around 6:40 p.m., Chelsea Yeaton and her 10-year-old daughter Oakley were on their way home to Avonport when Yeaton started feeling unwell. Before she could reach Exit 9 on Highway 101, she lost control of the vehicle.
The black half-ton truck rolled several times and came to a rest, teetering on its side, in the ditch along the busy 100-series highway.
“It turned out to be an isolated medical incident,” said Yeaton of what caused the crash.
Paramedics happened to be passing by at the time and called 911 when they discovered Yeaton and her daughter trapped inside the vehicle.
Hantsport and Wolfville firefighters both responded to the scene, due to an auto-aid protocol. They stabilized the vehicle and extricated Yeaton from behind the wheel.
“We felt very safe in probably the scariest moment of our lives together,” said Yeaton, July 23, standing outside the Hantsport Fire Department.
Yeaton, her husband Tyler, her son Ryder, and her daughter Oakley presented Hantsport and Wolfville firefighters with a token of appreciation for making them feel safe during a terrifying situation.
“We just want to thank them for all they did and for being there so fast and taking control of the situation and getting us out of there because I couldn't get out; I was trapped,” said Yeaton.
“And being patient with us because obviously we were kind of traumatized by the whole situation,” added Oakley. “They said stuff like that they were going to get us out; it made us feel a lot better.”
Oakley said she was impressed with how quickly the firefighters arrived and how they were willing to give up their time to help others. Yeaton concurred.
“There was someone in there with me the whole time, and they kept me calm. I was in for 45 minutes until they could get me out,” said Yeaton.
After a brief presentation to the firefighters, the family took a ride in Wolfville’s latest acquisition, Pumper 12.
“We really and truly are so thankful for them taking time away from their families to help ours,” said Yeaton before climbing aboard the new fire truck.
“We also know that they see a lot and they see a lot of different outcomes in these scenarios,” Yeaton added. “We just wanted to give them another memory to... add to the collections that they have that are not always so great.”
Paul Maynard, a deputy fire chief with the Hantsport Fire Department, said it always warms their hearts to find out they made a difference.
“Oh it means a lot because we don't get that very often. You know, maybe at the time, but not a follow up,” said Maynard.
Both Yeaton and Maynard wanted to stress the importance of wearing seatbelts, noting it helped save her life.
Maynard said one of his biggest fears is heading to an accident or fire and knowing the person or people involved. In this case, several firefighters knew the Yeaton family, as they’re quite active in the community and their children often play together, which made the call hit a little closer to home.
“It means a lot when they come back and you were able to help them and see that it was a good outcome in the end compared to what was happening on that day,” he said.