Bud’s Towing credited for woman’s survival

Staff report


The Ohio State Highway Patrol found the rescue of a Chardon woman in a culvert in the median of state Route 11 in February so remarkable, it honored the driver and her rescuers.

Linda Payne of Chardon was traveling south on Route 11 in Fowler Township on Feb. 15 when her car traveled off the road in icy weather and landed on its side in a concrete drainage culvert in the median and became partially submerged.

The patrol felt sure if Payne had not been wearing her seat belt, she would have died in the crash.

Payne suffered injuries to her foot and is still recovering. She used a wheelchair Wednesday as she came to the Trumbull County commissioners’ meeting and received the “Saved By the Belt” club award for using her seat belt.

“Linda is a living testimony to the effectiveness of safety belts,” said Lt. Brian Holt, commander of the Southington post.

But Holt also recognized Bud Rogers, owner of Bud’s Towing, and one of his employees, Shane Myers, who responded to the accident to help firefighters with an unusual situation.

Kevin Kuriatnyk, a Mecca and Fowler townships firefighter and the county Haz-Mat team chief, said fire officials at the scene determined Bud’s Towing would have the equipment and experience to pull Payne from her vehicle on a seat attached to a cable pulled by the tow truck.

They feared having firefighters lift her would have caused much more pain for her leg injury, Kuriatnyk said.

Rogers said his tow trucks have pulled people out of vehicles a couple of times before, but it was the first time he’s had to remove someone from that specific culvert.

Payne became emotional while thanking Rogers and Myers for their special skill that day, giving credit to them for helping her survive.

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