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Stagecoach overturns, injuring 16 Treatment prompt at the hospital


WESTMINSTER -- If there is such a thing as a fortunate time for an accident, the stagecoach accident at River Valley Ranch came at a fortunate time.

Fourteen camp residents from River Valley Ranch, injured yesterday afternoon when a stagecoach in which they were riding overturned, were treated at Carroll County General Hospital's emergency room. Most suffered lacerations, bruises and sprains, and all were expected to be discharged last evening. The injured, 10 males and four females, ranged in ages from 9 to 19, hospital staff members reported.

Two other injured residents of the Christian camp near Millers were taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The hospital emergency room staff was alerted at 3 p.m., just as the day shift was going off duty and the evening shift coming on duty. Rebecca K. Vasse, director of critical care and emergency room nursing, asked the day nursing staff to remain, giving her a nursing staff of 10. Three physicians were also on hand in the emergency room.

"At the time they came in, we pretty much had one nurse for each patient," she said.

Lorraine Jacques of Milton, Del., said her first reaction when her husband, the Rev. Edwin Jacques, broke the news to her that their daughter had been injured was to worry. When she learned that Lisa Jacques, 14, had received a bruised elbow, she said, "My reaction is great relief and thankfulness that God protected the group."

Lisa has been a waitress at the ranch for five weeks, Mrs. Jacques said, a volunteer experience that gave her an opportunity to be with other young people. She is scheduled to return home this weekend.

The hospital staff did not need to implement its disaster plan because of the relatively small number of patients, spokeswoman Gill Chamblin reported. Emergency room nursing director Vasse added that the patients arrived in small groups in the ambulances, giving the emergency room staff time to assess their condition and treatment needs.

Carroll County General fed the camp residents a dinner of hot dogs, potato chips, chocolate milk and ice cream. Some parents came to pick up their sons and daughters.

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