A doctor is in pain while trying to help accident victims on I-80

A doctor is in pain while trying to help accident victims on I-80


salt lake city (ABC4) – Dr. Ronald Cornelisson has made it a habit to help strangers.

The 88-year-old California pediatrician was often the first to help someone who collapsed in the grocery store or was involved in a bad car accident, said his daughter, Megan Kiklas.


So it came as no surprise to her that Cornelissen and her sister, Heather Williams, stopped to help people involved in last week’s I-80 crash in Tooele County. Only to be seriously injured.

“This was a tragic event to see that the nature of giving and helping … led to such a bizarre incident,” Kiklas said.

Cornelissen, Williams and her husband were less than a half-hour drive from their hotel when they witnessed a Nov. 6 crash in the eastbound lanes of I-80.

According to the Utah Highway Patrol, a pickup truck attempted to make a U-turn to help restart the vehicle that was stranded on the side of the road. But as the truck was turning, another car crashed into its side.

After parking their car a safe distance away, Cornelissen and Williams went to check on the victims, only one of whom sustained minor injuries.

But that’s when a pickup truck collided with a T-truck, pushing the vehicle into Cornelissen and Williams. Both of them were trapped under the rubble and were seriously injured.

“All he could do was hear his daughter screaming for help, and he couldn’t help,” Kiklas said. “This is every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Dr. Ronald Cornelissen, of California, is pictured at the hospital after a serious accident on I-80 in Tooele County.

A medical helicopter airlifted Cornelissen and his daughter to Wasatch Front Hospital.

Cornelissen suffered broken bones in his leg, pelvis and ribs, cuts and bruises all over his body, and damage to his kidneys.

He underwent surgery on Tuesday, where a metal rod was placed in his broken leg. His road to recovery will be long.

Against Cornelissen’s wishes, Kiklas created a file GoFundMe page For her father, his medical bills and expenses associated with his out-of-state hospital stay are piling up.

“He wasn’t very happy, but I told him there was another side to reality,” Kiklas said.

So far, the fundraiser has raised more than $7,000. Another fundraiser for Williams has also been postedWho lost an eye and must undergo rounds of facial reconstruction surgery.

While her father was trapped under the collapsed pickup truck, Kiklas said, he could feel his hair moving as cars continued to pass him.

Now she’s urging drivers in Utah to slow down when they see an accident.

“If you see an accident, stop, try to help, use your brakes, use those flashing lights, and help spread awareness of road safety,” she said. “Because this has changed our lives forever.”

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