A paramedic attended to a teenage car accident victim who was injured beyond recognition and later learned the victim was her own daughter, who died from her injuries.
EMT worker Jayme Erickson of Alberta, Canada, shared her “deep, unimaginable sadness” at the death of her 18-year-old daughter Montana in a Facebook post Nov. 18.
“We are overcome with sadness and absolutely disappointed,” she wrote. “The pain I feel is like no pain I’ve ever felt, it’s indescribable.”
Erickson said the Nov. 15 accident, which happened near Airdrie, north of Calgary, was “my worst nightmare as a paramedic.”
“On arrival we found two patients with injuries, the passenger was trapped and seriously injured,” she wrote. “I sat in the car tending to the critically injured patient and did what I could while[firefighters]got her out.”
Erickson ended her shift after the teen was flown to Foothills Medical Center in Calgary.
“Minutes after arriving home, my doorbell rang,” she wrote. “My life has changed forever. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) came to my door to inform me that my daughter had been in an accident. The badly injured patient I had just treated was my own flesh and blood. my only child My mini me. My daughter Montana. Her injuries were so terrible that I didn’t even recognize them. I was taken to FMC to see my little girl and was told her injuries were incompatible with life.
Paramedic Richard Reed, a spokesman for the family, said in a news conference that Montana and a friend were driving home after walking dogs in Big Hill Springs Park when their car was hit by an oncoming truck.
“Even though it was a cold evening, Jayme stayed in the vehicle for over 20 minutes to ensure the patient’s C-spine was stable and her airway was clear,” Reed said. “On the way back, she expressed her sadness (and) frustration to her partner, knowing that tonight a family would likely lose their daughter, sister and grandchild.”
Reed added, “Jayme unknowingly kept her own daughter alive. As a parent and first responder, I can tell you this is more than a nightmare.”
Corporal Gina Slaney, Southern Alberta District Media Officer for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, tells TODAY.com that Montana was a passenger during the “head-on collision” and was flown to the hospital by STARS Air Ambulance. Montana’s friend survived the accident. The driver of the truck was slightly injured.
A spokesman for STARS told TODAY.com that Montana arrived at the hospital in critical condition.
Airdrie Fire Department platoon chief Chad Durocher and his paramedic, Deana Davison, are friends of Erickson and Montana’s stepfather, Sean.
“Montana babysat for us on occasion and our kids have been spending time together,” Durocher tells TODAY.com. “Montana was super sweet and a beautiful young soul.”
Davison adds that Montana, who had two stepbrothers, was a competitive swimmer who wanted to be a lawyer one day. “She should graduate this year.”
Erickson opened up about her immeasurable loss on Facebook.
“While I’m grateful for the 17 years I’ve spent with her, I’m heartbroken and I’m like, ‘What would have become of you, my little girl? Who would you have been?’ I’ll never see you graduate and walk the stage, I’ll never see you get married, I’ll never know who you would have been.”
She added: “I will cherish the memories we made and the time we had together. I’m shattered i am broken I’m missing a part of me.
TODAY.com reached out to Erickson, who didn’t respond.
In the news conference, Erickson said her peers who are parents “know that this is our worst fear,” adding, “They understand, even if it’s not their daughter, it’s their daughter.”
Montana was an organ donor, which her mother called “a final gift.”
“We are so fortunate to know that our little girl lives on through others,” Erickson said, “and after this tragedy, she saved other people.”
The CBC reports that the cause of the crash is still under investigation, according to police.