Editor’s Note: This article originally included a video from the Eudora Police Department of four law enforcement officers lifting a camper off of a trapped man. EPD later took their video down by request from the man’s family, and KSNT News followed suit.
EUDORA (KSNT) – A Manhattan middle school teacher is lucky to be alive after he was trapped under a camper while changing a tire, according to the Eudora Police Department.
Jeff Eckelberry, a teacher at Susan B. Anthony Middle School in Manhattan, had just embarked on a trip to the Grand Canyon with his wife Joyce when the trailer they were hauling got a flat tire.
While changing the tire, the trailer fell on Eckelberry, pinning him to the road.
Two Kansas law enforcement agencies teamed up to free the trapped man. The first EPD officer on the scene lifted the camper just enough to relieve some pressure, but the man had also already sustained “traumatic injuries.” A Gofundme.com page set up by Eckelberry’s brother said the teacher suffered severe injuries to his face.
When three more law enforcement officers arrived, they were able to rescue the man. The EPD said the man’s injuries weren’t life-threatening thanks to the officers and troopers’ work to save him.
“The Eudora Police Department is very proud of the officers involved and the determination they demonstrated assisting this individual. Congratulations to Lt. Willis, Officer Rubow, Officer Kost, and Lt. Shoemaker on a job well done!“Eudora Police Department
The Gofundme page credits the first responders for saving his life.
“The only reason we have made it this far is from the tireless work of the emergency personnel on the scene and the trauma team at Overland Park Medical Center. Also, Jeff is here today because of Joyce’s incredibly quick thinking and brave actions on the scene. The family would like to specifically thank the members of the Eudora PD, Douglas County PD, and the Kansas Highway patrol that went above and beyond to save Jeff’s life and to support Joyce at the scene.”Mark Eckelberry
Eckelberry is still in the intensive care unit at Overland Park Medical Center. The fundraising effort raised over $19,000 as of Thursday.