Teens jump, avoid Thomas

July 2, 2005

Two 19-year-old babysitters of pre-teen boys were injured after jumping off a train trestle to avoid being hit by Thomas the Tank Engine on Thursday.

Their two young charges managed to escape injury; one by leaping 15 feet into the Hood River, the other by crouching down on a support beam on the side of the tracks.

According to reports, the incident took place just south of the city as the train was returning to the Mt. Hood Railroad Station shortly before 12:30 p.m. Several passenger cars were carrying children and their parents and grandparents on a trip to celebrate the 60-year anniversary of Thomas and Friends stories. The train screeched to a halt immediately after the two women landed in the shoals, and emergency responders were called to the scene.

One eyewitness said the women were forced off the tracks after one was struck by a passenger boarding step. Hood River County Sheriff Deputy Pete Hughes could not confirm that account, since another witness said the women jumped on their own to avoid being struck by the train.

“We think they got surprised by the approach of the train and there was nowhere to go so they decided to get off the bridge,” he said.

Although neither of the boys were hurt in the incident, one of their baby sitters injured an ankle and the other complained of neck and back injuries. Both women had sustained scrapes and scratches and were treated at the scene by medics from the Pine Grove and Hood River fire departments.

They were then transported by ambulance to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital for a thorough examination. The two boys were given a ride to the medical center on a fire engine since their parents were unable to be reached.

“We see people out there all of the time but it’s obviously not a good place to play,” Hughes said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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