Yacolt man to receive medal for lifesaving act

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

 
photoBob Robeck of Yacolt

A Yacolt man will receive a medal Friday for rescuing an unconscious woman from a fiery vehicle crash this June on Interstate 84 near Cascade Locks.

Robert Robeck, 45, was nominated by the Oregon State Police to receive the Civilian Service Medal, an award that recognizes people who step in during a medical emergency. Robeck’s family will join him Friday at the Oregon EMS Awards Program’s annual banquet in Bend, Ore.

On the morning of June 10, a 2010 Toyota Camry a few car lengths ahead of Robeck’s went off the road, hit a rock mound and traveled up and down an embankment. The vehicle 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 a woman inside and unresponsive. He kicked in a window and partly crawled into the car to cut off her seat belt. With the help of about five other people who stopped to help, Robeck pushed the car onto its side. Someone gave him a baseball bat and he broke out the car’s sun roof. With the help of a nurse, they were able to pull the woman — later identified as Ketsy Roeder, 60, of Kennewick — out of the sunroof.

By the time firefighters arrived, the fire had spread up the embankment into nearby trees. Roeder was transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, where she was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening and later discharged.