By Ellen Thompson/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
Responding to a call for help while on the road in Arizona, the Montana State University-Northern wrestling team used its strength to try to help a fellow traveler.
The man they went to help had driven off an embankment and lay in his overturned car when the team found him Tuesday night, wrestling coach David Ray said today. A woman in a passing car saw the lights of the man's car in a steep ditch and signaled to the team's bus for help.
Despite the team's efforts to revive the man with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Arizona Highway Patrol identified the victim as Richard B. Cummings, 52, of Glendale, Ariz. The patrol said he was driving south on Highway 89A, 10 miles south of Lake Jacob, when he hit ice and lost control during a turn. His vehicle slid off the road and rolled 1 times down a ravine.
Ray said that when he went down to the car with one or two others, they did not find a pulse. Eleven or 12 members of the team came down to the car, slogging through 2 feet of snow, and righted the car, Ray said. They extracted the man and carried him back to the road to begin CPR.
Ray said it took five or six wrestlers to carry the man, who weighed roughly 210 pounds.
"Not too many other people would have been able to hike down there and done that," he said.
Northern athletic trainer Christian Oberquell began CPR and continued with the help of some of the team members who were trained in CPR, said assistant coach Carl Valley. Officers arrived an hour and a half later, and during that time, CPR was continued. A helicopter was sent from Flagstaff, Ariz., two hours after Oberquell began CPR, Valley said.
The team has stayed on schedule and is participating in tournaments in Las Vegas Friday and Saturday, returning to Havre on Sunday, Ray said.
"Of course they're going to talk about it afterwards," Valley said about the effect on the team. "All of them just felt bad for the guy."