A Postal Service employee’s drive home from work in Sandpoint, ID, took a dramatic detour one day last winter when he stopped to aid a man who was seriously injured in an automobile accident.
Retail Associate Ole Olson saw that a Jeep had apparently slid off the icy road and plunged down a 30-foot embankment before landing on its side in a wetland near a major lake.
Without a phone on hand to call for help, Olson braved temperatures hovering around zero as he made his way to the driver, who had suffered a broken neck, ribs and shoulder blade and was losing consciousness as the Jeep filled with water.
Olson and the man managed to break out the windshield with their bare hands, at which point they were able to make their way to Olson’s vehicle to warm up while another passerby called 911.
The driver, who was ultimately flown to a hospital in Coeur d’Alene, ID, later hailed Olson for his life-saving actions: “I appreciate the significant possibility that I could have become a fatality.”
The local sheriff recognized Olson during a county commission meeting, and the USPS employee was also honored with a potluck at the Sandpoint Post Office, where he was presented with a Postmaster General Hero Award.