Firefighters help family move after saving teen crash victim
After the firefighters extricated Kali Merickle from the car, they stepped in and finished moving the family into their new home
By FireRescue1 Staff
LUBBOCK, Texas — A group of firefighters who saved a teen from a car crash went a step further and helped her family finish moving into their new home.
KXAN reported that a crew from the Lubbock Fire Department responded to a car crash and extricated Kali Merickle and her friend from the vehicle.
“I feel like I was dreaming or something,” Merickle said. “Firefighters were holding my hand and put a thing on my neck. They didn’t know if it was broken or not. People were cutting the door and I had to tell them if they were cutting my leg with the saw, just so much going on.”
“I held her leg when we pulled her out,” firefighter John Kruczek said. “She was in a lot of pain, which was expected for as serious as that crash was.”
The teens were transported to the hospital with serious injuries, and Merickle underwent emergency surgery on her knee.
Firefighters then learned that at the time of the crash, Merickle’s family was in the process of moving into a new home. To alleviate some stress, 15 firefighters volunteered to finish the job for them.
“They were experiencing a crisis, a true legitimate life-changing crisis with their family and sometimes it’s just too much,” Station 16 Equipment Operator Nathan Gutschke said. “There’s just too much happening for a family to handle all by themselves. So the opportunity was there to step in and just relieve some of that burden. To allow them to focus on what was truly important, which was their daughter.”
Merickle’s father personally shook each firefighter’s hand after the move was complete and thanked them for their kind act. The family also said that a remodeling company offered to build a wheelchair ramp for the injured teen.
“I don’t know if he was expecting as many people that showed up, because all of a sudden he had more pick-ups than we even used in front of his house,” Gutschke said. “I think he was a bit overwhelmed in a good way.”