Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

March 1, 2013

Father, son rescue man trapped under van

GLASGOW — All kinds of things were going through Scott Ratterman’s mind on Tuesday afternoon.

“I thought I was going to my dad’s place. I really did,” he said.

For most people, that may not be an extraordinary thing to imagine, but in this case, the “place” he was envisioning was the funeral home his father owns.

At the time Ratterman was considering this, a very large, very heavy van was sitting on top of him – across his chest – with his left arm pinned in between, so he wasn’t thinking he was going there of his own volition.

“No broken bones. No fractures. I can’t believe it,” he said later in the day, as he had just been released from T.J. Samson Community Hospital. “I’m just glad to be breathing.”

He believes the position of his arm, which had a bolt protruding about an inch into it, kept him alive long enough for help to arrive.

“If I didn’t have my arm there, I would have died,” he said.

Ratterman, of Louisville, is an electrician who works for SunTech Illumination Services, a company based in Baton Rouge, La., that has been relamping the lighting in Walmart parking lots, and his GPS device had directed him off course, into Hiseville. He had realized he was probably in the wrong place and had gotten his bearings; he was in the southbound lane on Park Street, a bit north of its intersection with Ky. 70, when one of his tires blew.

He called AAA and his boss. Donnie Huff, who was visiting his sister, Tammy Grissom, who lives near there, had seen the truck stopped in the road and went out to see whether he could help. Ratterman thanked him, but told him he had help on the way.

But then Ratterman decided to get started on the task at hand. He had removed the bad tire using the jack he had and was partially underneath the rear end of the vehicle, on his back, and was reaching and trying to get the spare released. That’s when the jack slipped from its position. Where the back, right tire would have been was compressing his chest.

“The van fell on my arm and I couldn’t breathe,” he said. “I saw stars and everything.”

For the rest of the story, read the weekend print or edition.

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