By Bill Kirk
---- — ANDOVER — The CEO of a local ambulance company put his training to work Thursday when he came to the rescue of a woman having a seizure in her car on Interstate 495.
David Daly of PrideStar EMS was riding in a car on 495 South near Route 133 around 1:15 p.m. with a business associate when he saw a car in front of him crash into the guardrail on the right side of the highway then travel across three lanes of traffic and go into the grassy median strip in the middle of the highway.
Daly told the driver to pull up behind the car.
“She was driving erratically, going about 70 mph,” he said. “She went into the median so we pulled over.”
He then hopped out of his car to tend to the woman, who was “actively convulsing,” said Daly, a paramedic as well as CEO and owner of the company.
“She kept putting her foot on the gas and brake,” he said, so the vehicle kept rolling slowly along the grass, going about 3 or 4 mph. The windows and doors were locked, so Daly asked a woman who had also stopped to grab something he could use to break the window.
The woman brought him a club of some sort and just as Daly was dialing 911 and was getting ready to smash the passenger-side window, the car sped up. The woman’s foot had apparently slipped and pressed the gas pedal, so the vehicle sped up to about 10 mph, he said.
“I said, ‘If this keeps going, she’ll go into the northbound side of the highway, then we’ll really have a problem,’” he recalled. So he smashed the window and climbed in to the passenger side of the car, reached over and pressed the push-button start and put the car in neutral. It then coasted to a stop in some bushes.
Andover Fire Department Lt. Robert Stabile said Daly’s actions were helpful to firefighters, who arrived on scene shortly after.
He said the patient, a woman in her 20s, was sitting outside the car by the time firefighters arrived.
“She had crawled out and was sitting by the car,” he said. “They tended to her until we arrived.”
He said the woman was treated and released at Lawrence General Hospital.