CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – A Chesterfield County police officer climbed onto the side of a flipped car and pulled a driver to safety after a four-vehicle crash on Midlothian Turnpike Monday evening.
According to police, the driver fell asleep at the wheel, creating a domino effect at the red light near the North Courthouse Road intersection.
Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office community engagement officer, Brad Hughes, said he was driving down Courthouse Road when he overheard reports of the crash on his police scanner. He said he made a U-turn and arrived at the site of the four-vehicle crash.
Hughes said he watched as Chesterfield police officer Shannon Rogers jumped into the bed of a Ford F-150 involved in the crash and climbed on top of the side of the Kia Optima that flipped on its side, helping to get the driver who was trapped in their seat-belt to safety. He said the driver of the F-150 was also helping to get the Kia driver to safety.
“That’s something that you normally don’t see is police officers going beyond the call of duty in front of you,” Hughes told 8News in an interview Tuesday.
According to police, the driver of the Kia had fallen asleep at the wheel, leading the Kia to flip on its side, clip the back of an Audi and cause the F-150 to hit another car.
Hughes snapped photos of the scene after the crash.
“Passersby, along with the people from the MedExpress were holding the vehicle up until first responders could get here,” Hughes explained.
It was a domino effect that Hughes said could have ended much worse than it did.
“Please, slow down and please pay attention,” Hughes pleaded. “If you start feeling drowsy, please pull over. Get some coffee. If not, take a nap.”
No one was injured in the crash, but Hughes said the Monday evening crash was like a flashback to another Midlothian Turnpike crash that took both of Hughes’ legs eight years ago on March 17, 2014.
While responding to a 17-car pile-up on an icy night that March, he said a truck came up behind him, was driving too fast for road conditions and ran into the back of him, pinning him between the back of Hughes’ car and the front of the truck.
Hughes calls the way Officer Rogers responded, “amazing.”
“Law enforcement officers do more than what the average citizens think they do. We’re not out here to get the guts and the glory and the appreciation. We’re out here to make sure you understand, we’re not out here to hurt you,” Hughes said. “We’re out here to educate you.”
Hughes hopes drivers will pay attention to the roads.
“It only took three seconds for me to lose my legs. So, you can imagine that three seconds could take your life away,” Hughes said.
Chesterfield Police ticketed the driver of the Kia Optima with reckless driving or failure to maintain control.