North Attleboro man thanks URI officers for saving his life after crash

University of Rhode Island Police car

KINGSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — After they were credited with bringing him back to life, a North Attleboro man met with the campus police officers at the University of Rhode Island who found his car crashed on the campus last December.

Barry Blomstedt, 64, had just watched a URI-Providence College basketball game on campus, when his vehicle hit two light poles and a wall in front of the campus health services building Dec. 5, according to URI’s Dave Lavallee.

Monday afternoon, Blomstedt met with URI campus police officers Michael McCabe and Salvatore Bugge to thank them.

The officers had checked Blomstedt’s pulse and felt none – and didn’t see his chest moving. The men recognized he could have a spinal injury, in which case he shouldn’t be moved; but instead, carefully lifted the man out of the vehicle and onto the ground, starting CPR until EMTs arrived. His pulse was regained en route to South County Hospital, and Blomstedt was later transferred to Rhode Island Hospital – being released from the hospital in time for Christmas.

Eyewitness News has learned that Blomstedt had a heart attack behind the wheel.

Blomstedt – a 1973 graduate of the university – said in December he is thankful for the officers’ actions. Officers McCabe and Bugge, too, and officer in charge Lt. Ken Olsen also expressed their relief that Blomstedt is recovering.

“I feel as though I’m indebted to these two people for the rest of my life,” he said Monday. “Grateful, thankful, there’re so many words that I can say to express it. I really appreciate what you did.”

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