Scout training helps kids rescue mum

Richard, Heather, Cheyenne, Tapanga and Aidan Barnhart at Colac Scouts’ Freak Night disco. Scout leaders praised Tapanga and Aidan for their quick thinking after Mrs Barnhart was injured in a car crash

TWO Colac district children say Scout training helped them stay calm after their mother’s car crashed into a tree.

Carlisle River’s Heather Barnhart broke her arm in three places after she lost control of her car, which skidded into a gum tree at Irrewillipe Road.

Mrs Barnhart’s children Tapanga, 9, Aidan, 7, and Cheyenne, 3, were uninjured in the accident.

Colac Scout leaders and Mrs Barnhart praised Tapanga and Aidan for their quick thinking after the crash.

“Aidan got my youngest daughter out of the car, he unbuckled her and got her out of the car,” Mrs Barnhart said.

“And my other daughter Tapanga, she got a pair of scissors that we happened to have in the car and she cut my seatbelt off me and made sure I was all right,” she said.

“My daughter too was trying to ring 000 but we had no reception.

“They were just brilliant.”

Mrs Barnhart said Aidan waved down approaching cars for help.

An ambulance took her to Geelong Hospital, where doctors inserted screws into her arm and gave her a skin graft.

Aidan said he just “knew what to do” after the crash.

“I helped my sister, she was asleep and when we hit the tree she started crying,” he said.

“When my other sister came along and helped my mum, I helped Cheyenne.

“I’m a Joey Scout and we thought of the medical stuff there.”

Tapanga said her Cub Scout training reminded her to “just stay calm”.

Mrs Barnhart started as a Cub leader this year, while her husband Richard is Colac Scouts’ fundraising co-ordinator.

“I’ve missed a couple of weeks but I’ve still been going,” Mrs Barnhart said.

“I’m getting there – there’s still one bone not quite mended yet but I’ve started physio.”

Colac Scouts district commissioner Kathy Niblett-Graham said Mrs Barnhart was “a fighter” for continuing her scouting duties.

“She’s got a fabulous attitude to life and they are a great asset for Scouting,” Ms Niblett-Graham said.

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