Yacolt man meets driver he saved

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

 
photoBob Robeck of Yacolt

Meeting Ketsy Roeder was much more nerve-wracking than pulling her out of a flaming Toyota Camry on Interstate 84, Bob Robeck said. When the 44-year-old Yacolt resident went to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland to meet the woman he helped save, he found himself shaking.

He said Roeder changed his life, perhaps just as much as he changed hers.

Traveling east on I-84 near Cascade Locks, Ore. on Monday afternoon, Robeck noticed the Camry that was a few car lengths ahead of his had gone off the road, hit a rock mound and rolled several times before coming to rest on its top on the highway’s shoulder.

Robeck pulled off to the side of the road and ran toward the vehicle, finding Roeder, 60, inside and unresponsive. As flames licked the vehicle, he kicked through the back window and cut off her seat belt. Robeck and five bystanders pushed the car on its side and pulled Roeder out through the sunroof.

After rescuing her, Robeck videotaped himself retelling what happened and how Roeder was saved. When the pair met at Emanuel, he showed her the video along with photos of the incident. They chatted with other members of the Roeder family and took pictures together. The family publicly extended its gratitude to the motorists, witnesses and first responders who helped. But, they were especially thankful for Robeck’s “heroism, determination and quick thinking,” according to Legacy Health.

Roeder, a Kennewick resident, was listed in fair condition Wednesday at Emanuel.

“I’m really glad she’s going to recover and she’s able to go home soon,” Robeck said.