Beer saves man's life
By Jason Bartlett and Vanessa McCausland
October 2, 2003
WHEN Scott Chippindale saw a youth trapped in the wreck of a burning van, he knew he had to act.
He had no water but he did have a six-pack of beer – which he used to douse the trapped driver's body.
His actions – a rare case of alcohol doing some good on our roads – may well have saved the driver's life.
Mr Chippindale, 27, was headed home with his brother Mark and his son Oscar, 7, to St Hubert's Island on the Central Coast on Tuesday night when they saw the crash scene on Maitland Bay Drive, Ettalong.
The trapped teenager was screaming in pain in the wreck of his Tarago, with its rear engulfed in flames.
They grabbed the six-pack of Victoria Bitter they had intended to share after a day's work and sprayed beer all over the trapped 18-year-old.
"We had no other choice, there was no water, we just grabbed it and poured it on him but the flames kept coming back," Mark Chippindale said.
Police arrived shortly after and, armed with fire extinguishers, kept the flames under control until the fire brigade arrived.
All four officers, who suffered smoke inhalation, minor burns and abrasions, will be recommended for a Commissioner's Commendation.
"To save a man's life – if my career ended tomorrow I would walk away a happy person," Probationary Constable Stacey Binskin said.
The trapped driver was taken to Gosford Hospital suffering fractures and burns to his legs.
Three other occupants of the van and the 20-year-old driver of the other car escaped with minor injuries.
" I have been afflicted with "lackanookie" at various times in my youth where a couple of cans of beer was used to help me get rid of this disease."
Seems like that same disease existed in southeastern Kansas back in the 50's when I was almost of age, single, and was trying to avoid getting the lackanookie disease. Tried to find the right medication...but only one thing was really effective. :cheer: