Paramedic Tried to Save Crash Victim, Later Learned It Was Her Girl

"I am shattered,' Jayme Erickson says of the loss of 17-year-old Montana
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2022 6:13 AM CST
Paramedic Tried to Save Crash Victim, Unaware It Was Her Daughter
Jayme Erickson, center, with her daughter Montana, right, and husband Sean Erickson, left.   (GoFundMe)

A first responder who worked for nearly half an hour to save the life of a teenage crash victim only later discovered her patient was her daughter. Canadian paramedic Jayme Erickson and her partner were first on the scene of the crash near Airdrie, Alberta, on the afternoon of Nov. 15. A car carrying two teens had collided with a truck on an icy portion of roadway, leaving the teenage passenger pinned inside the car with "horrific" injuries Erickson believed to be fatal. Yet for more than 20 minutes, Erickson tended to the teen, doing "whatever I could," she recalls, per the Washington Post. After the patient was taken to hospital by air ambulance, Erickson headed home, where she told her husband that a family was likely to lose a daughter, per the Guardian.

Then police showed up at her door, informing her that her only child had been in an accident. Entering 17-year-old Montana's hospital room, Erickson realized "the critically injured patient I had just attended to, was my own flesh and blood. My only child. My mini-me," she later wrote on Facebook. "Jayme unknowingly was keeping her own daughter alive," fellow paramedic Richard Reed said at a Tuesday press conference. "As both a parent and a first responder, I can tell you this is beyond a nightmare that any of us could have conceived," added Reed, who "broke down multiple times," per the Guardian. Montana, who had been unrecognizable because of her injuries, was taken off life support three days after the crash.

"The pain I am feeling is like no pain I have ever felt, it is indescribable," Erickson wrote. "I am shattered. I am broken. I am missing a piece of me. I am left to pick up the pieces and expected to carry on." A competitive swimmer who hoped to become a lawyer, Montana loved fiercely and fought hard "until the day that she died," her mother says, per the Calgary Herald. Her "last gift" was the donation of her organs, two of which were "lifesaving," Erickson adds. "We're so happy that our baby girl is living on through others and she has in the wake of this tragedy saved other people." A GoFundMe campaign in support of the family has raised more than $85,000 as of this writing. (Read more car crash stories.)

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