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January 25, 2013

News

86th officer provides assistance to traffic accident victims

By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Assistance provided by an officer with the 86th Training Division at Fort McCoy has helped a Tomah-area Family get through a trying time.

Maj. Stephanie Kazmierczak, the secretary of the General Staff for the 86th, said she was traveling on State Highway 21 on a clear day shortly after Thanksgiving when she came upon the scene of a vehicle accident.
PHOTO: Maj. Stephanie Kazmierczak of the 86th Training Division (left) accepts a bouquet of flowers from the Kara Lorenz Family. Photo by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Terry Schumacker
Maj. Stephanie Kazmierczak of the 86th Training Division (left) accepts a bouquet of flowers from the Kara Lorenz Family during a reunion at Fort McCoy. Kazmierczak provided assistance to the Family in the aftermath of a traffic accident.
(Photo by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Terry Schumacker)

A car carrying three members of the Kara Lorenz Family was turning into a private driveway when it was rear-ended by a box truck.

“I stopped and sat with the mother and her two young children, a toddler and an infant,” Kazmierczak said. “The mother was dealing with her baby, who had fractured bones and (later) was transported to a hospital. I sat and helped with the older child while the mother was dealing with the infant’s injuries.”

Kazmierczak said she stopped because as a member of the military in uniform she felt it was her obligation to help. She provided blankets and first-aid assistance to the Family members.

Two personnel attending a class at the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy at Fort McCoy also stopped and helped direct traffic during the incident and its aftermath, she said.

When the emergency personnel arrived, Kazmierczak left without finding out the Family’s name. The infant later was airlifted to a La Crosse hospital and is recovering from the injuries.

Several weeks later the Family put a personal ad in the Fort McCoy Marketing E-Newsletter seeking to contact the Soldier who had stopped and helped them. Kazmierczak called the number and later reunited with the Family at Fort McCoy.

During the reunion, the Family presented Kazmierczak with a plaque with handprints of the two children, flowers and chocolates.

“I was kind of surprised at the meeting,” Kazmierczak said. “I hope if I am ever in that kind of situation that someone will help me.”

Jamie Cram, a friend of Lorenz, said the Lorenz Family was extremely gratified that Kazmierczak stopped and rendered assistance. Cram used to work at Fort McCoy so she helped the Family set up the reunion with Kazmierczak.

Everyone in the Lorenz Family has recovered or is recovering from the accident and is doing well, so the incident had a happy ending, Cram said.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Terry Schumacker, a logistician with the 86th, said Kazmierczak has been put in for an award for her actions.

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