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September 12. 2012 11:02PM

Driver's legs crushed when tow truck rolls

MANCHESTER — The operator of a automobile repossession company hurt when his flatbed tow truck rolled over him Wednesday said he couldn’t believe how quickly rescue workers came to his aid.

Ken Beard, owner of RPG Recovery LLC of Manchester, suffered several broken bones when his legs were crushed by the truck.

But hours after the accident he was effusive in his praise for the emergency workers who were at his side at his impound yard on lower Elm Street within a few minutes of the accident.

“I own my own home here in the city and I yap every time my taxes go up,” Beard said. “But I was ready to go into shock and was ready to pass out and they were there to get me out of there.”

Beard was making repairs to the drive shaft on the truck when he released the final bolt holding it to the universal joint. The two parts work to transfer the power of the engine to the wheels.

The emergency brake on the truck works by engaging the drive shaft, and once the drive shaft was free, the truck rolled.

“When he turned the last bolt, that was enough” said District Fire Chief Al Poulin.

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” Beard said.

Parked with its front end pointed downhill in an inclined section of the parking lot, the truck rolled over Beard’s legs.

“I actually got dragged, it was dragging me when the guys at Mancheser Motorsports heard me calling for help,” he said. “The EMTs and the fire department was there in about three minutes, I couldn’t believe it,”

Even while getting the scare of his life, and being in excruciating pain, Beard showed his appreciation for the rescue workers.

He was shaking the hand of one of the responders as he was packed into an ambulance, and made sure to get the names of the crew that came to his aid

“The crew of first shift, Engine 11; the EMT, Nick Orestis; paramedic Mike Corbin and District Chief Poulin were just awesome; these people were just oustanding,” he said.

Beard suffered a shattered left ankle and multiple broken bones in his other foot as well.

He won’t be able to drive the manual transmission tow truck for a while, but says his business makes frequent use of subcontractors.

“For a horrible, horrible situation, it could have been so much worse,” he said.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

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Bill Smith may be reached at wsmith@unionleader.com.


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