Jack slips, car falls on Saranac Lake man

Neighbor Joe Boyle, bending over, shows state police where Gary Yarrish was pulled out from under a Honda Accord that fell on him Monday on Cantwell Way in Saranac Lake. Yarrish’s son Dustin stands at left. (Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)

SARANAC LAKE — A local man was airlifted to the University of Vermont Medical Center today after the car he was working fell on top of him when the jack holding it up gave way.

Gary Yarrish, 62, of Saranac Lake, was rescued by family, neighbors, police and firefighters who responded to his home on Cantwell Way around 11:15 a.m. He was initially taken to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, where he was listed in stable condition, according to hospital spokesman Matt Scollin. Scollin said Yarrish was subsequently airlifted to the Burlington hospital.

Yarrish’s son Dustin said his father was trying to fix an exhaust leak on a Honda Accord parked in their yard.

“I heard him yell ‘Help,’ and I came running right down,” Dustin Yarrish said. “The jack slid, and (the car) crushed him. It landed on the side of his chest, around his (right) shoulder.”

Neighbor Joe Boyle heard the yelling, too.

Police, firefighters and ambulance personnel help Gary Yarrish of Saranac Lake Monday after he was pulled out from under a car that fell on him as he worked on it on Cantwell Way. (Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)

“I called 911 and tried jacking the car up before everybody got here,” he said. “It was just rough.”

The location on Cantwell Way is just outside the village line, in state police’s jurisdiction, but village police Patrolman Luke Cromp, Sgt. John Gay and Chief Charles Potthast Jr. were among the first on the scene.

“We tried to lift the car up, along with some of the other people around here,” Potthast said. “Then, between the fire department and Luke, we got two jacks underneath the front and were able to get him out of there.”

Yarrish was in a lot of pain but was talking and breathing when he was pulled out, Potthast said.

Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brendan Keough credited the police officers with trying to keep the weight off Yarrish by holding the car up until firefighters arrived with jacks.

“He was under there a long ways,” the chief said. “We had the car off him pretty quick once we got here, in a couple minutes of being here.”

No details were immediately available on the extent of Yarrish’s injuries. A UVM Medical Center spokeswoman wasn’t immediately able to provide any information on Yarrish’s condition at the hospital.


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