Sheriff honors driver who helped save boy after accident
“God put me there for a reason,” Jim Royer said last Tuesday night after receiving a Letter of Recognition from Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose.
Royer, a truck driver for McNeilus Steel in Dodge Center, was at work the morning of Sept. 7, 2018, driving on U.S. 14 when he came upon the accident at the intersection of 14 and County Road 3 near Claremont.
The former EMT stopped the truck and went to see how he could help.
He found Jaxon Harberts, still in his mother’s vehicle, with a compromised airway. He helped officers remove Jaxson from the vehicle and used his training to get him breathing again.
“If it wasn’t for him stopping and doing what he did, Jaxon wouldn’t be here today,” Rose said. “That makes us all kind of pause, especially if you have kids.”
“I don’t really feel I deserve this,” Royer said. The award, he said, belonged to the first responders, officers, ambulance personnel, helicopter pilot and all who helped.
Royer said that he was an EMT in Oklahoma for 12 years. “I used to train paramedics,” he said.
He said that his first concern was to get Jaxon breathing again, because without an airway you do not have a patient who will survive.
Jaxon survived the crash. His mother, Rachel, and sister, Emerson, died in the accident.
The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office also gave out life saving awards to a number of individuals and groups for their efforts at the 2018 Citizen Awards program.
Benjamin Rippentrop and Mariah Gilman received a plaque and certificate for an incident on Jan. 7, 2017 when they helped save the life of Gilman’s father, Richard Fuller.
The Kasson Police Department, Kasson First Responders and the Dodge Center Ambulance were recognized with a Life Saving Award for their actions in saving the life of Michael Nockels on April 4, 2017.
Hayfield Ambulance received the award for saving the life of Fredricka Lux on Jan. 16, 2018.
The Kasson Police Department, Mantorville First Responders and West Concord Ambulance received Life Saving Awards for an incident on April 15, 2018 where they saved the life of Douglas Kracht.
This was the third year the Sheriff’s Office has given out the Citizens Awards, said Dodge County Investigator Bob Morris.
The awards recognize individuals and agencies who are instrumental in saving lives in Dodge County.
Situations reported to the office are reviewed by a team of four members of the Sheriff’s Office who make the decision on the awards, Rose said.