Being alert on the road can be a matter of life or death in the business of being a highway patroller, as proven by this officer who noticed a smashed-in section of barrier along a road shoulder. Thanks to his sharp eyes, and even sharper training, one lucky traveler will live to truck another day.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer Eric Devers was on duty when something odd caught his attention: A section of a barrier alongside the road was smashed through. He immediately pulled onto the shoulder, leapt out of his unit, and followed tire tracks, which led him to a ditched semi-truck and trailer.
Although the officer hadn’t heard any report of an accident, he rushed for the vehicle and saw a man in the driver’s seat, struggling to breathe, half-unconscious, bleeding from his wounds. Officer Devers said, “I was able to step up to that truck with him, he was taking very, very little, gasping breaths, hardly like he was alive at all.”
The officer tried desperately to “wake” the man, but to his dismay, the man’s eyes rolled back and he suddenly stopped breathing.
“Our academy is so extensive in its training that at that point my mind just essentially went on autopilot. I just did what I knew I had to do.”
Officer Devers knew that time was of the essence. He gave CPR first thing. Fortunately, a passerby was in the vicinity and offered assistance. While Devers gave CPR, the passerby held the man’s head up straight. They persisted for 12 minutes until EMS arrived.
Audible on the officer’s microphone (as heard in the video below), Officer Devers shouted, “Keep breathing for me … Don’t you die on me! Come on, open your eyes!”
The man, later identified as John Depue, was rushed to the hospital, where he was treated and was lucky enough to survive his injuries.
Doctors told Officer Devers that if he had not been there at the right time and had John Depue not received CPR when he did, he would not have made it.
Depue said after the accident, “How can you say ‘thank you’ for saving your life? I definitely think he was my angel that day.”
The trooper has since been honored with a Certificate of Recognition.
Watch this absolutely heart-pounding video below: