Kennebec Journal newspaper carrier Troy Rundstrom rescued Becky Berlew from her overturned car Tuesday. It had fallen into “a watery depression at the edge of the woods,” Susan McMillan reports.
Berlew said mud made it impossible to open the doors, and she was afraid that opening a window would just cause the vehicle to fill with water faster. The back end of the Forester was sticking out of the water, so she moved back there. She turned on the hazard lights and stepped on the horn with one foot.
The only blunt instrument Berlew could find was a car jack handle, which she used to pound on the back window. It wouldn’t break, and Berlew was about ready to give up, thinking she would die of hypothermia if she didn’t drown first.
It had been 10 to 15 minutes when Rundstrom happened by. He pulled over, waded into the waist-deep water and managed to open the tailgate of the Forester. He pulled Berlew out and had her sit in his truck with the heat running while he called for help.
Rundstrom, 51, declined comment to the paper. His mother told McMillan: “This is part of a carrier’s job, I guess, to help people.”
In fact, newspaper carriers are some of the nation’s most unsung first responders. This year alone, newspaper carriers have: Discovered an explosive hidden in a teddy bear; come to the aid of a stabbing victim; tried to foil a robbery; and saved many people from fires.
If you take the paper in print form, do consider a year-end tip.