Alert neighbors credited for saving lives

Alert neighbors credited for saving lives

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by Pat Dooris

Bio | Email | Follow: @PatDoorisKGW

kgw.com

Posted on June 18, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 19 at 9:45 AM

PORTLAND -- How well do you know your neighbors? They could save your life.

Over the weekend an emergency call came in to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department from the West Lake Village town houses in Cedar Mill.

"We don’t know what to do about one of our neighbors," the voice on the phone reported.

They worried about 67-year-old Virginia Cartier.

“We usually hear from her, you know. We'll see her go in and out of her apartment. We didn’t see her, she didn’t pick up her paper or her TV guide and she always does,” said neighbor Kyla Sexton.

That concern and the 911 call brought sheriff's deputies to Cartier's condo, where they found her trapped under a heavy dresser. She had spent at least four days there without food or water.

“This could have been very tragic. She could have died on her bedroom floor under her dresser,” said Sgt. Bob Ray from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. He believes the neighbors saved Cartier’s life.

“So we were very fortunate and we probably were at the end of the window of being successful,” he said.

But how many people look out for their neighbors? KGW posted the question on its Facebook page and some commenters responded with inspiring stories of cooperation and caring. Others said they don’t get along with their neighbors at all. Police say you should watch out for them anyway.

“I think that if someone noticed something suspicious or out of the norm, hopefully they would still call, even if they don’t have that good a relationship with their neighbor,” Sgt. Ray said.

Police can't be everywhere.

“We rely very heavily on people calling us in with tips, whether they're following someone they think may be an impaired driver or there's some suspicious vehicle in their neighborhood or parked in their neighbor's driveway and their neighbor's not home,” said Sgt. Ray.

Back at West Lake Village, neighbors like Kyla Sexton are glad they got involved. It is, after all, the neighborly thing to do.

“Um, it feels really good, actually,” said Sexton with a smile.

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