Good Samaritan Teams Up with Advisor to Help Unconscious Driver

Posted on May 25, 2017

Bill Ryherd and his son, David, in their scouting uniforms.

Bill Ryherd was on his way to pick up his son from a church youth group meeting when he passed an Oldsmobile Bravada on the side of the road with the emergency flashers on. When he glanced at the car he thought he saw two people in it. But something struck him as odd.

“Something wasn’t right with what I saw but I couldn’t put my finger on it,” Bill says. “On the return trip, I asked my son to take a close look at the SUV as we drove by to see if he thought everything looked OK.” Bill’s son, David, is a Boy Scout in Winthrop Harbor, Ill.

As Bill slowly drove past the parked SUV, he realized that there was only one person in the vehicle. “What I thought was a passenger turned out to be the driver’s foot on the dashboard,” he says. “And when David saw the man in the vehicle, he said he didn’t look good and we should stop.”

Bill immediately made a U-turn and parked behind the SUV.

“I banged on the window, and got no response,” he says. “The man was slumped down in his seat and the window was partially open, so I reached in and grabbed the shoulder belt and pulled on it but still got no response. Then I opened the door and felt for a pulse.” Bill says the man had a pulse, but he wasn’t breathing and had started turning blue. “I gave him one emergency breath in the SUV and David and I carried him out of the vehicle. Then I told David to push the red emergency button to make a Good Samaritan call and get us some help.”

Bill is the Scoutmaster of David’s Boy Scout troop and teaches the First Aid and Emergency Preparedness merit badges. “I attempt to prepare my young men for emergency situations similar to this,” he says.

David explained the situation to the OnStar Emergency Advisor, who immediately contacted emergency responders and gave them the exact location of Bill’s car.1 David remained in the vehicle and relayed questions and instructions from the EMD-certified Advisor to Bill as he performed emergency breathing on the victim until the ambulance arrived and the emergency responders took over. EMD-certified OnStar Advisors can obtain critical information and provide important instructions during the first crucial minutes following an in-vehicle emergency or crash until help arrives, while relaying that critical information to emergency responders.

“I later met the patient at the emergency room and talked with his family,” Bill says. “He was in the ICU for three days, and as soon as he was discharged from the hospital, he called and again thanked my son and me for saving his life.”

Disclaimer

1 Visit onstar.com for details and system limitations. OnStar acts as a link to existing emergency service providers.