Girl Scout honored for heroism | SteamboatToday.com

Girl Scout honored for heroism

Katelyn Ibarra, 16, has been a Girl Scout since second grade.

— A Steamboat Springs High School sophomore is being recognized for the role she played in helping people injured in a bus crash March 29 on U.S. Highway 40.

Katelyn Ibarra is being nominated for the Girl Scouts Medal of Honor, a national award given for saving life or attempting to save life under circumstances that indicate heroism.

"It's kind of a cool thing that we're going to get to honor her," said Steamboat Springs Girl Scouts Volunteer Coordinator Nancy Mucklow.

The news came as a complete surprise to Ibarra, who was tricked into attending a meeting Saturday for younger Girl Scouts.

"They called me and asked if I would help with awards, and they surprised me," Ibarra said.

Ibarra was going out to dinner with her parents, Amy and George, when a Ford Explorer lost control on snowy roads and plowed head-on into a bus. The city-owned bus was headed to Craig.

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Katelyn Ibarra, who wants to study medicine, did not hesitate; she grabbed the first aid kit from the car and went to help with her father, who is a respiratory therapist.

"I knew that he couldn't do it all on his own, so I decided to help him," Ibarra said.

After navigating through broken glass to access the bus, Ibarra said they heard a lot of screaming. She used gauze to help wounded passengers with their lacerations and got snow to ease swelling.

"The people thanked me a lot," Ibarra said. "I didn't really think about it. I just knew they needed help."

Four of the bus passengers, including the driver, were treated for injuries at Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Girl Scouts of Colorado employee Cricket Hawkins said she cried when she heard Ibarra's story.

"A true story of heroism," Hawkins said. "She's a Girl Scout."

If Ibarra's nomination is successful, she should receive her medal of honor in about nine months.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland