|Page (1) of 1 - 09/01/11||email article||print page|
Man dives into moving Jeep after driver blacks out on busy parkway and brings it to safe halt
ATLANTA (AP) ' A man jumped into an out-of-control Jeep as it drifted across lanes of traffic on a busy Columbus street and steered the vehicle safely into a guardrail after its driver suffered a seizure, authorities said.
Christopher Sanders said he blacked out on his way home from work Thursday in Columbus, a west Georgia city. Police later told him his Jeep Cherokee was weaving through fast-moving traffic and had slowed dangerously on a busy parkway before the good Samaritan came to the rescue.
"It's a blessing that he was actually there and did what he did," Sanders told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "The situation could have gone dozens of different ways, but it went the best possible way."
With other cars whizzing past at around 65 mph, Sanders' Jeep had slowed to between 10 and 15 mph when help came, according to Sanders.
Police said Michael Perry parked his own vehicle and began running after Sanders' Jeep, yanked open the passenger door, climbed in and then guided it into the guardrail.
"He risked his own life in the process," Sanders said in a telephone interview. "He didn't have to do what he did."
Sanders, 27, said he began having seizures about 10 years ago, but never experienced one while driving. He said he's been able to keep them in check, but Thursday's seizure was a violent one. He said doctors aren't certain of the cause, but he says he was shot in the neck during a robbery years ago and thinks that may have helped trigger the seizures.
Sanders said Perry banged up his leg after it got caught between the Jeep and the guardrail, but neither man was seriously harmed.
Columbus police say Perry's actions averted a potential disaster on the busy road and might have saved Sanders' life.
"It could have gone very, very badly," Sgt. Mark Graydon told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. "It was unbelievable. Everything worked right, and it was pretty miraculous."
Sanders and Perry are both from Phenix City, just across the state line in Alabama.