By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor
Office of Public and Employee Communications
It was no ordinary day for an off-duty Correctional Officer on his way home from the store when he suddenly found himself helping a driver who suffered a medical situation with two young children in the car.
Officer Michael Williams usually finds himself working at California Health Care Facility but on June 16, he was out shopping on his off-time. Headed home, he was sitting in his car at a red light in Elk Grove when he saw a white minivan slowly roll through the intersection, drift into the oncoming lanes and stop after colliding with a tree.
“I quickly pulled over to the side of the road and ran to the vehicle to check on the occupants. Another witness was already at the driver’s door accessing the scene,” he said. “When I approached, I identified myself as an off-duty peace officer to the witness and he replied he too was an off-duty officer from Vacaville Police Department. As he was assessing the female driver, I reached into the van and put it into park and then applied the emergency brake.”
The driver was unconscious.
“The female driver was struggling to breathe. The driver’s young daughter was standing up in the back of the van shaking her mom and screaming for her to wake up,” he said. “So myself and the other officer could tend to her mother, I carried the young girl from the car and sat her down on the street curb and assured her that I was going to help her mom and that everything was going to be OK.”
More help started to arrive.
“Meanwhile, another witness removed a young toddler from his car seat. I then returned to tend to the female driver who was still unconscious. The other off duty officer said that he believed she may be having a heart attack. I turned and yelled to a witness to call 911,” Officer Williams said.
The two officers pulled the woman from the van so they could perform CPR. Neither officer could find a pulse.
“I pulled her legs from out of the van as the other officer grabbed her under her arms and together we carried her to a shaded spot on the grass,” he said. “The Vacaville officer began chest compressions and around 15 chest compressions, the female driver opened her eyes but was still unresponsive. As we stayed by her side, she appeared to go in and out of consciousness but I would tell her to keep her eyes open and I reassured her that both of her children are OK and that help was coming. Shortly after Elk Grove PD and paramedics arrived.”
Officer Williams then turned his attention to the two frightened children and comforted them.
“I told them that their mom was awake and that the paramedics were going to take their mom to the hospital,” he said.
He gave his statement to the police and then headed home.