Friday, 4 April 2008

timber dick's accident

i have been wanting to write about this since sunday, but not really sure how. i am glad that i don't have to really.

as you know, i have fRamily here in dc. tomicah, sarah, kimber, dave and the brood that comes along with them are at the core of that fRamily. they have literally had the most hellish year i have heard of. their grandfather died much too quickly after a short bout with cancer, sarah had to spend some time in the hospital after having little thomas (and part of that time was scary), tomicah fell down the stairs, dave fell off the porch, and the list goes on. it is a ton. if you don't know them, these people are the most sane, together, pleasant people you will ever meet. kindness is second nature to them. i have never had friends who serve so many with out expectation. they are a huge blessing in my life. i spent wonderful easters, a christmas, and loads of other wonderful times with the whole tillemann-dick family. i really do feel so lucky to have such wonderful, kind, loving friends who are fRamily.

early sunday morning i got a call from kimber asking for some help taking something to church. she didn't sound good. we talked. she told me the story (or the little bits and pieces of it that she knew then). later we saw the whole family. it is really hard to see people you love hurt like that.

anyway, here is the story of their father's nightmarish car accident and the brave souls who literally provided him with the chance to live. thank-you scott and andrew!!!

Passersby lauded for life-saving actions
By Tom McGhee
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 04/03/2008 08:49:54 PM MDT

Timber Dick's wife is counting her blessings and praying for one more stroke of good fortune while her husband clings to life in a burn ward.
Dick, 52, was burned over 60 percent of his body when a front wheel on his Dodge Caravan locked and the vehicle slid off Interstate 70. It hit a guard rail, burst into flames and tumbled 240 feet down a slope Saturday.

Timber Dick was driving on Interstate 70 on Saturday when the front wheel on his Dodge Caravan locked. The minivan slid off the highway, tumbled 240 feet down a slope and burst into flames. (Special to the Post | Scott Boylan)

"Timber climbed out from the flames and dragged himself, crawling and flaming from that vehicle ... It would have been so much easier to just die," said Annette Lantos Tillemann-Dick, at a press conference today to thank the good Samaritans who put out the flames devouring his body.

Dick is alive, she says, because Andrew Rosenberg had a fire extinguisher in his vehicle when he and Scott Boylan stopped to help Dick.

Andrew Rosenberg, left, and Scott Boylan saved Timber Dick's life. (THE DENVER POST | HELEN H. RICHARDSON)

Boylan, Newsradio 850 KOA traffic reporter, and Rosenberg were returning from a day of taking pictures and four-wheeling in the mountains when they saw Dick's minivan careen down the hill and come to rest on the frontage road.

Dick was ablaze, and flames were licking at the dry grass around him, Rosenberg said.
"He was engulfed when I got up to him. I am convinced that we couldn't have put it out with jackets," Rosenberg said.

He was able to block out the shock of the calamity as he helped put out the flames, Boylan added.

"You are not thinking about the fire and the smell and the explosions and everything that is going on — you just don't pay any heed of that."

Others also stopped and helped to redirect and put out the grass fires that threatened to add smoke inhalation to the damage that Dick suffered.

Dick is an inventor whose company, Tendix Development, won a transportation-design award earlier this year in contest sponsored by a NASA publication. He unsuccessfully ran for Denver City Council in 2003. His mother was Colorado's first female lieutenant governor, Nancy Dick, who served from 1979 to 1986.

Dick has already lived through the initial 72hours that is so crucial to a burn victim's chances of survival, said Gordon Lindberg, director of the University of Colorado Hospital's burn unit.

From left: Glorianna Tillemann-Dick, 14, is comforted by her sister, Kimber Cook, while Zenith, 12, hugs his mother Annette Tillemann-Dick after the press conference. (THE DENVER POST | HELEN H. RICHARDSON)
you just don't want to see photos like this of your friends in the newspaper!!!

He is in a medically induced coma to spare him the severe pain of his burns and the repeated surgeries that will be required to heal him. He will remain in that state for more than a month, and there is no guarantee that he won't contract an infection that could kill him before he wakes.

His wife, who sobbed often as she spoke, is waiting and praying.

"Every time I feel discouraged I think of these miracles and gifts we have had already. I am really focusing on what incredible things have happened."

A fund has been set up to help the family cover medical expenses.
Donations are being accepted for the Timber Dick Catastrophe Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank in the Denver area. The School of Engineering and Computer Science also is accepting donations through Executive Assistant Donna Kolosky in Room 228, Boettcher East.

For questions about donating, call Chase Squires at 303-871-2660.

Timber Dick and Annette Tilleman-Dick have a large family. (Special to the Post - Tilleman-Dick Family)

another article:

Timber Dick, 52, is a director of the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Denver and president of the company Tendix Development. (teabelly note: this is the iris engine that i have mentioned here before that won the NASA award and can end out dependence on foriegn oil)

He's recovering at the University of Colorado Hospital with burns on much of his body from the crash, which happened on Saturday on Interstate 70 in the mountains near Highway 40. His car tumbled off a hill next to the interstate and then landed on a frontage road and exploded in flames.

On Thursday, Dick's family publicly thanked good samaritans Scott Boylan and Andrew Rosenberg, who they credit with saving him.

Boylan, a traffic reporter for KOA radio, was four wheeling with Rosenberg when the two saw Dick's minivan come rolling down the embankment. Timber was able to crawl out of the passenger window of his burning car and Boylan and Rosenberg helped him, almost without thinking.

"It's amazing because the brain, at least mine did, almost completely shut off, and you just know you have to take over. You have to do something. You're not thinking about the horrific wounds and the fire and the smell of the explosions and all those things that are going on," Boylan said.

The two men wound up using a fire extinguisher to put out the fire that had engulfed Dick's body.

"I am convinced that we couldn't have put out (the fire) with jackets," Rosenberg said.

"We cannot express adequate thanks for the gift you have given us," Annette Lantos Tillemann-Dick told the men before a group of reporters at the University of Colorado Hospital.

"To Scott and Andrew and unnamed others who stopped their cars on Highway 40, who risked their own life to bravely battle flames and fumes and debris in an effort to protect my husband, our children and I extend our eternal appreciation."

Dick faces several surgeries over the next few months. Gordon Lindberg, director of the hospital's burn unit, said he's hopeful he will survive. Dick is currently in a medically induced coma.

About Timber Dick

Tendix Development lists the following details about Timber Dick on its Web site:

Timber Dick is the President of the Tendix Development. He is also the managing member of the Tillemann-Dick Family LLC. Timber serves as a director of the University of Denver's School of Engineering and Computer Science, with responsibilities for the mechanical and molecular-scale engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and computer science departments.

As an entrepreneurial manager, Timber founded, funded, and managed Safeline Products through six years of 35% compounded growth before he sold the company. He holds numerous patents in diverse fields, including consumer markets, the chemical industry, law enforcement and transportation. Earlier in his career, Timber worked for Mercedes' subsidiary, MBB Transit, where he was the leading sales executive of mass transit equipment.

His research on engine efficiency enhancement began at Yale, where he received his first patent while a college student. The design, for a more energy-efficient bicycle drive system, was subsequently licensed by the Huffy Corporation, a leading bicycle manufacturer. At Yale, Timber earned a BA and an MA, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Over the course of his career, Timber has designed and evaluated dozens of innovative engine designs. The IRIS incorporates more than 30 years of his focused research and design effort.

video of press conference not a fun way to see friends on TV


two forks said...

kimberly thank you for posting this. i was not aware of what was going on. we will definitely keep them in our prayers constantly!

Dianna said...

I love this family! Tomicah and Kimber are the first in a long line of fabulous Tilleman-Dicks that I've been honored to know in Washington. I hope you all know how many people here love and care for you, and will be with you through this really rough year.