NEWTON — A Newton woman was taken to a Wichita hospital in critical condition after an incident Saturday night in Newton in which she nearly lost her life while being a good Samaritan.
Extended family told The Kansan on Sunday that 40-year-old Kristy Hermstein was in intensive care on Sunday afternoon and her legs had been amputated below the knees after trying to help another motorist.
The crash happened at 10 p.m. Saturday on S. Kansas Avenue south of US-50 highway. A vehicle was getting off on US-50 heading to the hospital for a medical condition when the driver lost control and struck a power pole, causing power lines across the highway to droop.
A semi drove past eastbound on US-50, getting caught in the power lines. They snagged and hit Hermstein.
“Kristy got out of the car after the first electric wire snapped to try to help him. She was on her way back to her car when the second wire snapped and hit her in the legs,” family friend Ashleigh Svitak wrote on a GoFundMe page dedicated to Hermstein’s recovery.
Officers were in the area and were able to help Hermstein stay alive as EMS arrived to transport her to Wichita.
“We were close to the accident and were able to apply life-saving measures,” Newton Police Chief Craig Dunlavy said. ”(Officers) applied tourniquets, saving her life. We do not look for accolades, but he was there moments after the accident.“
Hermstein is a mother of two and employed at Asbury Park.
According to extended family, Hermstein had her children with her. They have been saying with other family members since the accident.
“It was a horrific accident,” Dunlavy said. “It really stinks. Our heart goes out to the family.”
“It was an unbelievable chain of events that caused a good Samaritan to get hurt. It is horrific,” police Lt. Mike Yoder said.