Dakota Gas employee saves life, recognized with local award

Dan Vega, Dakota Gasification Company maintenance field technician, was recognized by The Bismarck Tribune as a recipient of the newspaper’s 2017 Tribune Award for saving the life of an 18-year old woman after a house explosion.

 

Dan Vega, Dakota Gasification Company maintenance field technician, was recognized by The Bismarck Tribune as a recipient of the newspaper’s 2017 Tribune Award.

The annual award honors members of the Bismarck-Mandan (North Dakota) community who have gone beyond what’s expected of citizens, according to the newspaper.

Vega was recognized for rescuing 18-year-old Elianna Vazquez after a house explosion in Mandan, which killed her mom and stepfather, Elizabeth and Clyde Howe.

Vega says he just reacted that night, having a feeling something wasn’t right after hearing the loud noise a quarter-mile away from his house. “Any other neighbor would have done the same thing,” he says.

Vega’s then-17-year old daughter, Maddie, and 16-year old son, Danek, also were involved in the rescue, staying with Elianna and Clyde to comfort them and keep them warm until the emergency crew arrived. Vega’s wife, Kim, was also instrumental, as she called 911 and directed emergency crews to the site. The Vega family is thankful Elianna recovered, and are glad they were able to help.

Below is The Bismarck Tribune‘s article, printed with permission, about Vega’s rescue.

Dwight Driscoll and his wife, Lucy, were at a memorial for their son’s girlfriend’s parents when a man asked if the seat next to them was taken.

The service was for Elizabeth and Clyde Howe, who died a year ago in a house explosion north of Mandan. Elizabeth Howe’s 18-year-old daughter, Elianna Vazquez, survived the explosion despite serious injuries from which she would later recover.

Dan Vega saved her life, hopping in his truck after hearing something in the night, Dwight Driscoll said.

Meeting him for the only time at the Howes’ memorial, Driscoll said Vega also saw Vazquez for the first time since he had rescued her from the rubble. Vega had been worried he may have damaged her spine by picking her up and placing her in his vehicle.

“He was relieved to know and we reassured him that was anything but the case, that he had saved her life,” Driscoll said.

“The only way I can summarize what little I know about him is I sure wouldn’t mind having a neighbor like that. I’d be happy to have a neighbor like that,” he said.

Vega’s wife, Kim, agreed. She said her husband is there to help and quick to lend a hand.

“I know my husband wasn’t going to let that extremely loud noise go uninvestigated,” she said. “He was meant to be there to help.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: