Former WOI (TV) Des Moines, Iowa, reporter Kimberly Arms Shirk -- who was
badly burned in 1997 when the mast on her news van touched a power line -- is
donating $20,000 for scholarships to students at a religious school near the
site of her accident.
Students from the Des Moines Christian School pulled Shirk from the van after
she was electrocuted and helped to extinguish the fire that had engulfed her
clothes and body. Shirk spent months hospitalized, including many weeks
comatose, and she has had numerous surgeries to repair the damage.
The scholarships, she said, were funded from the settlement she received last
year from her lawsuit against van-equipment manufacturer ENG. The awards will go
to winners of an essay contest on being good Samaritans.
'These kids really saved my life,' Shirk said. Some, she believes, even came
to the accident scene while the ground was still charged with electricity and
somehow escaped shock and burns.
Several months after the accident, Shirk and her former colleague, David
Bingham, who was also injured in the accident, participated in a ceremony
honoring the students who came to their aid.
Bingham was able to return to work after the accident. Shirk worked briefly
for KLKN-TV Lincoln, Neb., where she now lives, and she is currently writing a
book on her experiences.