Inside Aera


What Others Are Saying Dec 10, 2020

A teenage driver, a hit-and-run accident – and a grateful mother

Kari and Kendal Lusk

Kari Lusk (right) with her daughter Kendal. (Photo: Kari Lusk)

A letter thanking not one, not two but three from Aera who stopped to help

On. Nov. 18, Aera received this email from Kari Lusk, a Bakersfield resident and vice president with Midstream Energy Partners:

Dear Aera Energy:

I wanted to share a quick story about some of your employees. They truly deserve a shout-out.

In the middle of the afternoon on Saturday, Nov. 7, my 16-year-old daughter Kendal was in a hit-and-run accident. She was heading west on Rosedale Highway [in Bakersfield], had come to a stop at Rosedale and [Verdugo], and proceeded through the intersection to be hit by someone traveling south on [Verdugo]. He pushed her car up onto the center divider and then proceeded to flee the accident. 

As you can imagine, as a new driver she was terrified. Her car was partly on the center divider, she was causing traffic delays, her car would not move, she was crying, scared and alone. She said she sat there crying not knowing what to do, when not one, not two, but three Aera employees who had all been driving by (coincidently) stopped, got her out of the car, moved her to safety, got her car out of the middle of the road AND waited with her until I arrived!! Two other Bakersfield residents followed the suspect and were able to tell police where he lived (he was driving drunk).

Troy Simmons

Aera drilling advisor Troy Simmons was heading home from a toy drive when he spotted the car accident. (Photo: Troy Simmons)

Kendal did not have one scratch on her. She learned many valuable lessons that day, the most important: there continues to be SO MUCH MORE GOOD IN THIS WORLD THAN BAD!!! One man made a horrible choice and drove while drinking and, worst, fled the accident. But five others, FIVE, stayed and helped.

We are thankful and feel blessed to live in a community where people are not afraid to get involved and not too busy to stop and help. Aera should be proud they have employed three such individuals:

Beau Abney

Troy Simmons

Dillon [Dylan Cossel] – did not get his last name though I know they all worked at Belridge.


Kari Lusk, Vice President Marketing and Supply, Midstream Energy Partners


Story follow-up

Troy Simmons was heading home from a toy drive for a local homeless shelter when he saw Kendal Lusk’s Jeep stuck on the center divider of busy Rosedale Highway.

Simmons, a drilling advisor at Aera’s Belridge field, pulled over to help. His co-worker, Beau Abney, an Aera contractor with Driltek, was already there. Another Aera employee, Dylan Cossel, an abandonment specialist at Belridge, soon appeared.

It took all three men to move the teenager’s vehicle off the divider and to a nearby parking lot. They stayed with Kendal until her mother arrived. The three also helped the Bakersfield Police Department clear debris from the road so traffic could get through.

Abney, Cossel and Simmons all said they pictured their own family members needing help when they saw Kendal’s situation.

Dylan Cossel

Aera’s Dylan Cossel and Stephanie Higgins hold an ultrasound photo of their soon-to-be-born son. (Baby Dodge Cossel arrived Dec. 6.) The couple has two children, Irelynd and Ivory (shown here). Higgins also works for Aera as a production operator at Belridge. (Photo: Dylan Cossel)

Beau Abney

Beau Abney was first on the scene. (Photo: Beau Abney)

Further, coming to the aid of someone in trouble was something engrained in Cossel from childhood. “My father was a Kern County deputy sheriff for 20 years,” he said. “He’d always stop and help people.”

Working with Aera for 11 years “has changed my life,” Abney said. “There’s an emphasis on kindness to others. Not that I was a bad person before, but I go out of my way for people now.”

Simmons said that his belief in helping others mirrors Aera’s commitment to ‘exceptional care for people and the environment.’

“It’s a core belief that’s been expressed at Aera since I began working there in 2006,” he added. “And that mindset doesn’t stop on the job. I just hope that if my mom or sister ever needs similar help, it will be paid forward.”

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We live our safety motto that “Every day, everybody goes home alive and well!” / DID YOU KNOW? Aera Energy has been honored with the North American Maintenance Excellence Award and the AME Manufacturing Excellence Award.

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