BILLINGS – A Laurel couple are alive after what they call a miracle, and now they’re expressing gratitude to those who helped.
On Wednesday, Richard and Georgia Helterbran met for the first time the emergency crews who responded to their March 10 crash.
“I can’t say enough about the way the hospital took care of us and the EMTs and everything,” said Richard Helterbran at St. Vincent Health Care. “I mean, we are here today as witness to what care we got…it was a miracle.”
In March, the Helterbrans were in their PT Cruiser when they got into a wreck and were pinned between a tractor trailer on I-90.
Charity Stephens, an off-duty EMT, was the first person on the scene that day. Stephens said she is notoriously early, but was running late to work that day and drove past the wreck. She enlisted the help of an onlooker to help her tear off the PT Cruiser’s soft top and help hoist her inside.
"I was preparing myself for the worst,” said Stephens. “I always give my cross a little rub before I go into a bad call so I kind of rubbed it and then I just dove underneath and I was just shocked.”
Both Richard and Georgia were alive. Stephens said their heads were perfectly lined up between the rafters under the trailer.
“They were perfectly in the spaces,” said Stephens. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Richard suffered multiple broken ribs, a punctured lung and a small brain bleed, while Georgia suffered a separated rib along with cuts and bruises.
Georgia said it is amazing how quickly life can change. They went from being self-reliant to having to rely on others for things like transportation. She said she is extremely thankful for their family and friends who have stepped up to be with them and help them through it all.