It was during the wee hours Tuesday morning when teenagers Iesha Blakeslee and Billie Stone came across a woman lying in the grass along West River Road.
She was waving a shoe.
The 86-year-old woman, whose name was not released, later told her rescuers that she waved to about 20 passing cars — none of which stopped to help — after she fell near the Waterville Junior High School softball field, which is around the corner from the Woodlands Senior Living Facility.
But Stone and Blakeslee did stop when they found her about 1 a.m., and the two teenage girls are now credited with the safe return of the woman to the Waterville elder care residence. The woman, who used a walker, fell while trying to journey some two miles from Woodlands to the home she lived in until about three weeks ago, police said.
Blakeslee and Stone had gone out to bring Stone’s mother her work ID badge to VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus, and were driving down West River Road when they spotted the woman.
“At first I thought it was a shadow,” said Blakeslee.
The Waterville Senior High School students said the woman, who was only wearing a nightgown, told them she was trying to wrap her blanket around her because she was cold when she lost grip of her walker and fell over.
“She didn’t know exactly how long ago she had fallen but she said it had been a while,” Stone said.
Stone said the woman told them that about 20 cars had driven by before she and Blakeslee spotted her in the grass. When they pulled over, they called 911 and Blakeslee said she put her jacket around the woman. Blakeslee also called the woman’s daughter to let her know she was OK.
Woodlands Senior Living officials would not comment on the incident and police wouldn’t release the name of the woman.
Stone said that the woman was cold and needed help standing up, but did not seem to be disoriented or confused about where she was and appeared to be unharmed.
The girls waited with her until the police and ambulance arrived.
Both girls said that they felt were glad to have helped the woman, who repeatedly thanked them for stopping.
“She called us her marvelous angels,” said Blakeslee.
Waterville Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey said the woman had moved about three weeks ago from the city’s South End to Woodlands Senior Living on West River Road.
“She decided she missed her home and wanted to walk back there, and set off from the residence and started walking back,” he said.
The woman made her way across West River Road to the area of the Waterville Junior High School softball field when she fell in the grass and couldn’t get back up, Rumsey said. “The passerby who waited for police stated that the lady was waving her shoe up in the air to get her attention,” he said.
He said Delta Ambulance responded to the call and brought her back to Woodlands, where her family was waiting.
Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252 | [email protected]