Three citizens receive Lifesaving Awards from Sheriff’s Association

Citizens received official honors for their life-saving response to a vehicle crash on Interstate 84 in June near Cascade Locks.

The Oregon State Sheriff’s Association held its annual awards conference at the Riverhouse Hotel in Bend on Dec. 4. Among those receiving awards were three men whose actions in June saved the life of a woman who had crashed on I-84.

On June 10 a vehicle driven by 60-year-old Ketsy Roeder of Kennewick, Wash., crashed on I-84 near milepost 44. The vehicle had rolled over as a result of the crash and Roeder was trapped in the vehicle, unconscious. Several passers-by stopped along the interstate to render assistance.

When the vehicle came to rest, it caught fire. Robert Robeck of Yacolt, Wash., took the lead and began attempting to break windows out of the car to get to Roeder. He was able to break a rear window, slide partially inside the overturned vehicle and cut Roeder’s seat belt with a knife.

Robeck attempted to break out other windows of the vehicle to gain better access but was unsuccessful. Witness statements indicated that the fire had grown to a point where flames were over Robeck’s head.

Robeck, with assistance from Dennis Gronquist of Arlington, Ore., and Matthew Perez of Portland, rolled the overturned vehicle onto its side. At that point, Robeck was able to break the glass in the sunroof and the trio extricated Roeder, taking her to safety.

“The efforts and bravery that these men displayed were heroic to say the least,” said Hood River County Sheriff Matt English. “The awards these gentlemen received were well-deserved.”

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