FOUNTAIN, Colo. (CBS4) – Law enforcement wants to thank two unidentified drivers who helped control traffic while officers jumped into a moving vehicle on I-25 this week.
According to a Fountain Police Department Facebook post, an FPD officer noticed a red SUV stopped against a concrete barrier at Martin Luther King bypass and I-25 at 5:15 a.m Monday. The vehicle appeared to have crashed.
That officer, Corporal Amanda Hajdik, who was driving to work, stopped her own vehicle and tried to contact the driver of the crashed SUV.
The SUV drove off, continuing southbound on I-25, weaving across all lanes of traffic at speeds varying between 10 and 40 m.p.h.
Corp. Hajdik followed the red SUV and called for help. FPD Sgt. Andrew Anderson, also on his way to work, and El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Edwin Wilson responded and joined pursuit of the red SUV, believing they were following a drunk driver.
Hajdik, however, was able to pull alongside the red SUV and determine the female driver was having a seizure. The woman was slumped between the front seats. Hajdik alerted dispatchers they were now dealing with a medical issue.
All three officers used their sirens, horns and PA systems to try to wake the driver. Nothing worked.
However, the vehicle slowed considerably.
All three officers pulled their own vehicles to the shoulder and began running on foot next to the red SUV. They tried to open the driver’s side door, but found it locked. As Sgt. Anderson prepared to break the window, Corp. Hajdik found the passenger door unlocked. She dove in and put the transmission into ‘park’.
At that point, officers cleared the woman’s airway and waited for paramedics and an ambulance to arrive.
But “the really cool part of the story,” said FPD Sgt. Scott Gilbertsen, was the participation of two unidentified citizens drivers trailing the scene. Corp. Hajdik reported seeing the two in her rear-view mirror, driving side-by-side with flashers and blocking traffic behind them.
“The corporal was worried,” Gilbertsen said. “We always worried we’re going to get hit. A million things could’ve happened.”
As the officers exited their cars and dealt with the red SUV on foot, the two citizen drivers parked their cars diagonally across the interstate, blocking all lanes.
“We would love to thank them,” Gilbertsen said. “The citizens did an amazing job. They basically locked down the freeway for us.”
As other emergency vehicles and law enforcement dealt with the scene, other officers opened the right shoulder to traffic. The two citizens blended in with the other commuters and left.
None of the incident was recorded. Fountain PD officers do not wear their bodycams home and the department is still testing dashcams for the cruisers.
The woman’s condition today is unknown, although those on scene believed she would be OK.