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Costco employees describe saving a woman’s life after bloody parking lot crash

Mar 15, 2022, 6:15 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:04 pm

MURRAY, Utah – A Murray Costco manager and fellow employees are being credited for helping save a woman’s life after a horrific accident in the parking lot. 

Its a story KSL introduced to you on Monday night when the victim Heather Vanboerum, 51, was interviewed about her miraculous recovery from the accident that happened just five days before Christmas. 

“A loud crash followed by the most intense screaming,” said Wesley Clark who was the first Costco employee on the scene.  

“There was a giant amount of snow here, where a car was literally on top of it. Heather was on the ground.  And it started to become a big pool of blood,” Clark said.

He immediately went into emergency mode. “Intense fright, but I figured it was up to me to be the best adult in the room,” he said.  

An out-of-control car traveling around 30 miles an hour hit Vanboerum while she walked across the parking lot.  

It’s believed that an elderly man hit the gas rather than the break.   

The crash immediately severed her right leg and crushed her other leg.

Utah mother turning tragedy into triumph after near-death experience

“She was in horrible agony and screaming and crying out,” said Sr. Costco manager Bree Bonfoey who ran to help.   

Along with the help of a stranger, Bonfoey immediately grabbed material from the Costco first aid kits to make tourniquets to stop the bleeding in each leg.  

“Things needed to get done very, very quickly,” she said.  

Vanboerum’s husband, Don, who is a trauma surgeon, was working across the parking lot at Intermountain Medical Center. He said his wife ended up losing half of the blood in her body. 

He says she was minutes if not seconds away from dying and the tourniquets saved her life. 

“There were a whole lot of things that had to line up just the way they did in order for her to be alive,” said Don. 

As a result of the accident, tourniquets are now standard equipment in the kits. 

“This circumstance definitely prompted us to revisit all of our emergency care aspects,” said Bonfoey.

Heather ended up losing both legs but has made a remarkable and full recovery.   

The employees are grateful they were able to play a role in that. 

“It made me incredibly happy to see that she’s thriving,” said Bonfoey. “Being really proud of the employees here. I feel like our team overall is very action-oriented.” 

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Costco employees describe saving a woman’s life after bloody parking lot crash