While enroute Wednesday to a career fair in the Valley, a couple of Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department employees watched a traffic crash unfold – turned back around and saved the life of the driver from certain death.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Eric Larson and Support Services Specialist Shelby Baker were traveling in a sheriff’s patrol car from Lincoln County to attend a career fair at Western Oregon University. About ten miles west of Monmouth on Highway 223 they observed an oncoming vehicle leave the shoulder and plow into some trees. Deputy Larson quickly flipped a U-turn and in moments both he and Baker were pulling on the crashed car’s door, trying to get the driver out. Just then Polk County Reserve Deputy Eric Berry happened by and soon he was helping the other two try to get it open – all the while smoke was building from under the hood.
Finally the three got the door open and pulled the driver to safety. About a minute or so later an explosion rocked the car and it burst into flames.
It is unknown what caused the crash but the video in Deputy Larson’s patrol car showed that the vehicle gradually left the road. There was no sudden turn of the wheel. The driver suffered an injured leg.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a possible cause for crash.
Here’s the video that was captured on the patrol car’s video dash cam. Click here.