On Wednesday, May 2nd, at 1:30 am, Kimmerle Miller-Leonard, CRNA was on call for Toppenish Community Hospital, a rural Critical Access hospital in Southeastern Washington. She got a call for an "urgent" C-section, and jumped in her car to head in. She was on the 2-lane rural highway when she saw a car pulled off to the right of the roadway, its emergency lights flashing. Thinking to herself that she needed to call 911 to assist them, she turned her eyes back to the road, only to see two horses - one standing in the left-hand lane, one dead in the lane in front of her. Obviously the car was off the road because it had killed the one horse. Not having time to react, she hit the dead horse, causing her car to flip and roll down the highway and finally off the highway into a field.
After what seemed to her an eternity of rolling and crashing, her car came to a stop. Her cell phone had been crushed in the crash, so she crawled out of the car and walked back to the road, where the Spanish-only speaking occupants of the other car pushed a cell phone into her face, hoping she could do a better job of describing the scene to the 911 dispatcher than they could.
Kimmerle explained what had happened to the dispatcher, and told them where to find the scene, and that there were injured people in the van, thankfully not bad but the driver was hysterical. Kim pleaded for them to hurry, stressing that it was an accident waiting to happen again since the horses were still on the dark highway. Kim also explained she was needed at the hospital ASAP, and then was able to flag down a car that had just arrived at the scene. She asked the driver to take her to the Toppenish hospital, because she had an anesthetic to perform. The driver took her to the hospital, where she arrived in time to perform a spinal anesthetic for the C-section. Mother and baby both were fine. After the anesthetic was over and the patient safely in recovery, Kim turned herself in to the hospital staff, who diagnosed multiple abrasions, contusions, and a broken ankle. But her job was done. Questioned as to why she insisted on doing the anesthetic despite a broken ankle, Kimmerle replied, "If I didn't do it, who would?"
Her partner, Terry Leaf, CRNA, upon hearing of her predicament, placed himself on call to cover her next week, meaning he would now be on 24-hour call for 3 weeks instead of one week on and one week off.