Two passers-by who stopped to help a woman whose car crashed off the side of the road in Lyman early Friday morning are being credited with helping her survive and getting her the assistance she needed.

A woman suffered minor injuries Friday morning when her car went off the road on U.S. Route 202 in Lyman near the Waterboro town line. Submitted photo/John Bedard

The two men “literally gave the coats off their backs and gloves off their hands” in addition to calling for help and staying with the woman before an ambulance arrived to treat her for minor injuries, according to a Facebook post from Goodwins Mills Fire-Rescue.

“It is people like these two who make Maine a great place to live, and restore our faith in humanity,” the fire department said in its post.

John Bedard, a truck driver for Poland Spring, was one of the passers-by and happened upon the crash on his way home from work. Bedard, 54, said he had decided to take a different route than normal when he saw the other man, Joshua Chevalier, standing on the side of the road on U.S. Route 202 in the snow around 4 a.m. Friday.

Chevalier, who lives in Waterboro, was on his way to work at Bath Iron Works when he first saw the car in the woods and stopped to call 911. He said the woman had a bump on her head and he worried about how long she had been in the car.

Bedard slowed down and went to see if Chevalier needed help when he also noticed the woman’s vehicle crashed in the trees and covered in frost. “I immediately knew what was going on and why he was on the phone,” he said. “I  got out of my truck and asked if he was on the phone with 911. I asked if anyone was in the car and he said, ‘Yes, she’s still in the car.'”


John Bedard is one of two passers-by who stopped to help a woman whose car crashed off the side of the road on U.S. Route 202 in Lyman on Friday. Submitted photo/John Bedard

Bedard rushed to try to help the woman. He was unable to open the car door enough to get her out and also was unsure what would happen if she tried to move if she was injured, but he was able to ask her some questions to check that she was conscious and gave her his coat. The two men decided they would stay with the woman until an ambulance arrived.

“If it was one of my family members, I’m hoping someone would do the same thing,” said Bedard, who lives in Shapleigh. “It’s just funny that was the one time I decided I was going a different way. I just had a gut feeling, almost like God himself was like, ‘Go this way tonight just for the heck of it.'”

Joshua Chevalier was on his way to work at Bath Iron Works early Friday morning when he stopped to help a woman whose car had gone off the road on U.S. Route 202. Submitted photo/ Joshua Chevalier

According to the fire department, the woman, whose name was not provided, had minor injuries but was unable to get out of the car. She was taken to Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and released later Friday morning. A spokeswoman for the Maine State Police, which also responded, did not respond to a phone message or email Saturday seeking details on the cause of the crash.

With more than 30 years working in the trucking industry, Bedard said he has seen and witnessed a lot of crashes and has learned some of the basic questions to ask and steps to take from watching first responders. “If he didn’t stop or I didn’t stop, who knows if anyone would have seen her,” Bedard said. “She might have gone unconscious and it might have been a different story.”

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