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Couple stops racing to rescue injured volunteer

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Jeffery and Traci Andreason said it was the "right thing to do" when they quit their race Saturday and helped to rescue an off-road vehicle driver who had rolled down a Weber County hillside.

The husband and wife were 2 miles into the Spartan Race course near Nordic Valley Ski Resort when they heard what sounded like a crash.

“Someone was like, ‘Someone’s just rolled off!’” Traci Andreason recalled Tuesday.

Suddenly, the race didn’t seem to matter to the couple.

“At that point, things changed and our goals changed, I guess,” she said.

The couple stopped racing and "slid" down the hill to find the driver still inside the wrecked utility task vehicle.

“(It was) like a controlled fall all the way down,” Jeffery Andreason explained.

Weber County Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Toll said the 68-year-old man from Ohio, who had been serving as a volunteer during the race, had somehow rolled his side-by-side vehicle at least 200 feet down the steep slope.

Traci Andreason said she believed the man was a medic, because his off-road vehicle contained medical supplies.

“Jeff and I both took gauze and held pressure to the areas that were bleeding,” recalled Traci Andreason, who works as a registered nurse. “Then I made a pressure dressing to contain all of that bleeding from his head.”

The couple watched the man closely until emergency crews arrived and the man was hoisted away by a medical helicopter.

“We just kind of kept praying that he would stay conscious and not need resuscitation until help came,” Traci Andreason said. “We just kind of looked at each other like, ‘I cannot believe that we’re here right now. I feel like we were meant to be here.”

Toll praised the couple’s actions.

“This was a competitive race these people were involved with,” Toll said. “(Traci Andreason) is a hero. She really is.”

Toll said the man was "in a lot of pain" but was conscious and alert as he was flown away to receive medical care.

“She really did make a difference,” he said of the nurse.

The couple balked at the idea that what they had done was heroic, and they said they were simply happy and thankful to help.

“(We were at) the right place at the right time and (it was) the right thing to do,” Jeffery Andreason said.