On June 12, 2020, the lives of Ross and Jacob Kopfer were saved, all thanks to strangers.
The Kopfer’s, from Oconomowoc, were on their way to 11-year-old Jacob’s baseball tournament in Mauston when their F-150 pick-up was struck by a semi on I-90 near Lodi.
“We were in traffic, all three lanes were at a complete standstill, when the semi hit my truck,” Kopfer explained to WTMJ. “You can imagine the destruction.”
The Kopfer’s were badly injured and trapped in the vehicle while the flames began to grow.
“There was no way we were getting out,” Kopfer said. “We were going to burn to death.”
Truck driver Earl Morgan-Heft, and 18-year-old Tyler Martins arrived on the scene to help. While Martins used a fire extinguisher to keep the flames down, Morgan-Heft was able to pry open a door, and free Jacob from his seat.
Martins’ sister Erica, 22, was able to apply a tourniquet to Jacob’s arm to stop his bleeding. Morgan-Heft went back in for Kopfer.
The vehicle exploded shortly after the rescuers were able to get Kopfer out of the wreckage. Kopfer remembers seeing people in their vehicles using their cellphones to capture the rescue. He was happy to know some decided to act, rather than watch.
“Thank goodness (Earl, Tyler, & Erica) had the courage and the guts to do what they did,” Kopfer explained. “They saved lives.”
The Good Samaritins will be honored for their life saving actions at City Beach in Oconomowoc on June 11th at 8PM.
Ross Kopfer & Earl Morgan-Heft (Below)
Tyler Martins, Jacob Kopfer, Ross K, Erica M. (Below)