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Man meets rescuers

April 25, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - Two mothers met with the personnel of the Williamsport Ambulance Company Wednesday. One came to say thanks for saving her son's life, the other wanted to meet those who were with her son when he died.

From the moment he woke up in the hospital, Michael Weltz was determined to meet the rescuers who kept him alive along Interstate 81 in the early hours of Feb. 28.

The ambulance personnel couldn't remember the last time anyone thanked them for their lifesaving efforts.

"I know it's the first time anyone has ever come back to thank me," said Dan Shealy, the paramedic on the accident call.

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The accident that nearly took Weltz's life claimed the life of his best friend, Chris Wayne Trolio, 20, of Falling Waters, W.Va.

Both men were thrown from their Ford Mustang when the vehicle ran off the interstate and onto the median at 2:15 a.m. An investigation by Maryland State Police is still open.

Trolio's mother, Shelly Trolio, came along Wednesday with Weltz, his mother Ruth Hebb, Weltz's wife, Melinda, and their young son Hezekiah.

"It's really hard being here," said Shelly Trolio as she stood off to the side at the West Salisbury Street ambulance station. "But I wanted to thank them too ... just for being there with my son."

Wearing a neck brace and confined to a wheelchair, Werlz, 19, brought a picture of Chris Trolio and talked to his rescuers about his best friend so they'd know a little about him.

"Michael was in Washington County Hospital for about a month," said Hebb. "He had four broken bones in his neck, one in his back, his thighbone was broken twice, one ankle was crushed, his nose was broken and his liver was lacerated."

Mary Bradley, an emergency medical technician on the call that day, said she remembered the goose egg that Michael Weltz had on his forehead when she first saw him.

Shealy recalled the broken thighbone. "When we took your pants off, the bone was sticking straight up out of your leg," Shealy said.

Bradley and Shealy told Weltz they put a traction splint on the leg and carefully pulled the bone straight again.

Unconscious through the ordeal, Weltz encouraged the rescuers to share every detail with him since he was hearing it for the first time.

"Strangely enough with all my injuries, the only thing that still hurts is one broken toe," Weltz said. In therapy three times a week, Weltz is on disability from his job at Good Humor Ice Cream.

Weltz and his family brought a cake, soda and other snacks for the ambulance crew. Some Williamsport Volunteer firefighters were also there Wednesday as they were on the morning of the accident.

Ronnie Davis was the ambulance driver that morning. Lt. Tom Anderson was also on the ambulance run with Shealy and Bradley.

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