AP NEWS

Lowell Man Helps Save Life As Crash Victim Needs CPR

March 5, 2019

SALEM, N.H. -- When the victim of a car crash went into cardiac arrest last week, Lowell resident Robert Merrill jumped into action.

During what Merrill described as the longest four minutes of his life, Merrill performed life-saving CPR on the man until paramedics arrived.

“I just kept doing the chest compressions,” said Merrill, who has run unsuccessfully for City Council.

The morning of Feb. 25, a car hit a tree stump and flipped over on Lowell Road. According to Salem Police, the crash was likely caused by the driver going into cardiac arrest.

Merrill was stopped four cars back at a red light when a car crashed into a tree. Bystanders realized the man was in cardiac arrest and went to help.

“He was turning blue so we had to get him out of the car,” Merrill said.

The driver was the only occupant in the car, according to police.

According to Salem Fire Chief Larry Best, the ability of someone like Merrill to recognize when someone is in cardiac arrest and perform CPR can make all the difference in that person’s survival. Early recognition in particular, is key.

“His efforts were tremendous,” Best said.

This was not Merrill’s first time performing CPR.

At age 11, he said he performed CPR on his grandmother and has since also performed CPR on his neighbors who overdosed.

Merrill said he learned his life-saving CPR skills from watching “Rescue 911.”

In the case of the Feb. 25 crash victim, Best said that Merrill’s actions “certainly did” help save the man’s life.

“It’s a great thing for somebody to be able to stop and provide this kind of care,” said Best.