‘Lucky to be alive’: Woman lives through dramatic crash
After living through a harrowing accident on Highway 89 north last week, Bethany Teachout, 26, feels “blessed” that she has lived to tell about it.
“You really take a look at what you have everyday,” Teachout said this week from her home in Truckee.
At about 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 18, Teachout was leaving Tahoe Donner on Alder Creek Road to visit a friend in Glenshire and ran the stop sign at the highway intersection at approximately 30 mph, according to police reports. At the same time a tractor-trailer was travelling the speed limit on 89 going northbound.
Teachout’s Jeep Wrangler skidded underneath the trailer and struck the rear axle of the semi. Then, her vehicle tumbled down the road and landed in an embankment.
Truckee Police Officer Jason Litchie, who responded to the scene of the crash, said Teachout’s skid-marks were 40 feet long.
“It looked pretty bad,” he said. “I thought it was a fatality. We started investigating it as a fatality.”
Care Flight, which is based at Truckee Tahoe Airport, heard the call and responded to the accident quickly, Litchie said.
“I give them a lot of credit,” he added.
Care Flight responders determined Teachout had broken her neck and airlifted her to Washoe Medical Center in Reno.
Care Flight personnel do not respond until an agency requests their services, said flight nurse and Program Director John Morrison. However, they do get ready – with preflight checks and locating the accident – if they hear something serious on the radio.
“That does cut off a couple of minutes from our response time,” Morrison said.
Teachout escaped the accident with the broken neck and no paralysis. She wasn’t intoxicated during the crash; officers say she just “zoned out.”
“I really don’t remember anything,” she said. “I remember right before the truck hit and then I was in the helicopter.”
Teachout was out of the hospital by Monday, with a neck brace.
“I had an awesome, quick recovery,” she said. “The staff at Washoe was awesome.”
Except for her ride home from the hospital, Teachout hasn’t been in a car. She’s trying to take it easy. For a while, if Teachout’s friends want to see her, they are going to have to drive to her house.
“Everybody who sees me says they’re amazed I’m alive,” Teachout said.
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