Accident response makes man proud of hometown

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My life has been a good one so far. I was born in Kenai, grew up in Nikiski and graduated from Kenai Central High School. I have a loving wife and two beautiful daughters. I am now contributing to my new hometown as a member of the Palmer City Council. I am so proud and grateful for each and every one of these things.

This summer I was working for my uncle driving one of his cement mixers on K-Beach and turning onto Gaswell Road when my mixer rolled. It the was the most violent and humbling moment in my life.

As I began to gain consciousness, everything sounded like I was under water. I could only see shapes and differing variation of light. I unbuckled myself, and there were people helping to get me out of the wreckage.

I was still dazed and confused so they helped me through where the windshield use to be and out a safe distance away from all the fuel. My back and head were aching and my face was distorted and bleeding. As they had me sit down, all I wanted to do was go to sleep. One gentleman started talking to me, asking me questions to keep me alert.

Slowly faces and forms started to look like people, and I was able to hear more clearly. There were seven or eight people helping me get through this day. The gentleman gave way to a lady who worked in the medical profession in some fashion, and as luck would have it, she was just heading to work.

Everybody worked together and calmly helped me out. I asked them "How bad does it look?" I concentrated on their faces and listened intently, but I never heard distress out of their mouths or saw panic in their eyes. They smiled and gave way to the medics who arrived.

Calmness and compassion is not only found in the Kenai, Soldotna and Nikiski areas, but it is with pride that I tell people this is where I grew up. This is where if you have fallen there's always somebody there to help you up. Be it a friend, neighbor or much like on my day of need, perfect strangers.

I am truly grateful to each and every one of them. Thank you so very much.

They say you can never go home again, but I'd like to think you can always come home here again.

Richard Best


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