Fink complained of back, neck and shoulder pain, but the child was unharmed thanks to the car seat, Robinson said.
Fink’s Jeep was traveling southeast when it hit a patch of ice, spun 180 degrees, hit a tree trunk on the passenger side, and continued down over the embankment, according to public information officer Trooper Nathan Riegal. He said Fink and the child were brought to A.O. Fox Hospital, where Fink was admitted.
According to Robinson, it was determined that Fink had swerved to miss a deer on the icy road, and slid back and forth before plummeting down the ravine. He said it was fortunate that the wheels stayed on the ground, otherwise the accident likely would have been fatal. Robinson said since there are no houses near the accident scene, it’s not likely that Fink would have been found in a timely manner.
“There is not much doubt that Chief Robinson saved this woman’s life,” Lueck said. “In her disoriented state, she most likely would have wandered through the miles of woods in that area until she was exhausted and then died of exposure along with the child on that 26-degree day.”
According to Robinson, it was a difficult rescue, and he gave a lot of credit to his crew at the Gilbertsville Fire Department.
“It wasn’t just me,” Robinson said. “We’re a good team.”
Although he said this rescue was remarkable, Lueck said it was just another day on the job for emergency personnel.
“This is what the EMS people do weekly,” he said. “It just doesn’t usually get publicized, and simply ends with a few pats on the back.”
Robinson said he has seen much worse accidents, and was glad that there was a happy ending this time.
“This is what we’ve been trained for,” he said. “When it actually happens, something kicks in and you just do what you need to do and don’t get a chance to reflect until later on. When you do get to reflect, it hits you and its hard to believe what you just did.”