Kamloops man puts recent First Aid training to use on motorcycle accident scene - InfoNews

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Kamloops man puts recent First Aid training to use on motorcycle accident scene

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July 07, 2020 - 6:30 PM

Richard Buff and his family were driving home from a child’s birthday party in Monte Lake when he witnessed one of the most traumatic incidents of his life.

“It’s kind of all setting in now because when it all first happened it was a blur,” Buff says. “It kind of happened in slow motion… my wife looked up and unfortunately so did my four-year-old, and we all saw the whole thing.”

Buff says they were travelling along Highway 97 on Saturday, July 4 at around 6:30 p.m. when they came up behind three motorcyclists. In an attempt to pass the car ahead of them, two bikers passed over the double solid line near Duck Range Road.

“The third motorcyclist kind of just peeked out at the wrong time. There was a grey car in his path,” Buff says. “He collided with the car head-on and it was just like an explosion, like a grenade going off.”

The father immediately pulled over his car and first checked on the young female driver in the grey car. When he confirmed she wasn’t critically injured, he rushed over to help the biker.

“I ran down to the guy who was on the road, and I looked down at him and his leg was severed right above the knee. The leg was completely gone and I was like, ‘Oh my god.’”

Buff had just completed his level three occupational first aid course in November, a certification he got in case one of his young sons was ever injured. He says he never imagined the training would be used like this. He called out to the other bystanders asking for a belt to fashion into a tourniquet.

“I looped it around his leg and I cinched it up, and I asked, ‘can anybody take this?’ Another gentleman who was following the motorcycle came and helped him out, and I just wanted to make sure he didn’t have any other life-threatening injuries. I put my elbows on the ground and based his head and we slowly rolled him to the supine position and I just checked him over,” Buff says.

The man was breathing through his moans of pain, he could squeeze both of his hands and he moved his other leg without being prompted.

“I told him not to move and he said, ‘just pick me up and take me to the hospital’, so he was with it so I was like, 'okay that’s good'. But I said, ‘help is on the way, don’t worry, stay still.’”

An off-duty nurse soon took over, and Buff quickly moved onto the next task - finding the severed leg.

“Me and another lady were like, 'we better find the leg'. We were walking along the ditch when she found the leg so I grabbed my cooler and lifted the leg and set in in the cooler on some cold packs,” Buff says. “When we picked up the leg, there was nothing left of it. There was just flesh and bone all over the road… I’m not even sure where the foot or the boot was, it could’ve been there but we just wrapped it up in a T-shirt quickly and put it on ice. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing they could’ve done with it.”

While Buff was dealing with a severed leg, his wife was comforting their two sons and the young woman who had struck the driver. Buff went over to speak with her.

“She was just a young girl in her 20s who had went horseback riding for the day and was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Buff says. “I just assured her by saying, ‘It’s not your fault, it’s just an accident.’ Her parents came and she just broke down.”

Buff and his family stayed on the scene for an hour and a half after the accident and answered police questions. He didn’t get the name of any of the bikers but says the injured man looked to be in his 30s. Seeing the accident struck a personal chord with Buff, and not just because he had helped this man during such a horrific accident.

“I used to ride motorcycles,” Buff says. “I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff on a motorcycle, and it’s really unfortunate this guy had to learn the hard way. It was a very unfortunate situation that they ended up pulling out on a double solid.”

Buff says he and his wife were offered counselling from RCMP Victim Services, but they haven’t yet spoken to anyone. He simply hopes his actions were enough to help save a man’s life, even if he wasn’t able to save his leg.

B.C. Emergency Health Services confirmed they attended the scene of the accident and took away a patient in critical condition. Neither B.C. Emergency Health Services nor Interior Health Authority could shed any information on the current well being of the patient.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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