DUSON, La. (KLFY) — A quick phone call by a passing motorist was enough to save the life of a 73-year-old man who had fallen into a ditch Tuesday just east of Duson and could not get up in the near-100-degree heat.
The victim spent over three hours stuck in the ditch in the heat before he was found and was reportedly dehydrated and suffering from numerous ant bites, according to Duson Police. He was treated at a local hospital and has since been released.
According to Duson Police, Town Superintendent Kim Alleman was traveling on U.S. 90 just outside of Duson at around 2:30 p.m. when he noticed a pickup truck on the side of the road with hazard lights flashing and the driver’s side door partially open. He initially continued on his way, but when he passed the location again half an hour later, he noticed the truck was still there.
According to Duson Police, Alleman noticed the truck resembled that of an elderly man he knew who “is in failing health and has difficulty walking.” Alleman contacted Police Chief Kip Judice and reported the situation.
When police arrived at the scene, they found the truck still running and discovered the victim’s walker still in the bed of the pickup truck. Police were able to contact the victim’s wife, who said he was overdue to return home and was not answering his cell phone. It would be another two hours before the victim’s daughter, who arrived on the scene concerned for her father, found him lying face-up in a ditch.
“It was determined that the man had seen a blue tarp on the side of the road and stopped his truck crossed over Cameron Street (Hwy 90) in an attempt to pick up the tarp,” stated the Duson Police Facebook page. “While attempting to pick up the tarp the man fell and rolled down into the ditch, where he remained unable to get up for 3-plus hours in the heat … The family was thankful for the efforts of Alleman for reporting the situation as many cars passed but no calls had been received prior to Alleman alerting authorities.”