Off-duty officer helps save man's life after spotting out-of-control driver

Off-duty officer helps save man's life after spotting out-of-control driver (WKEF/WRGT)

BELLBROOK, Ohio (WRGT/WKEF) - An off-duty officer shared his eyewitness account of how he and others pulled a driver to safety Thursday night.

The driver lost control and crashed into a ditch in Bellbrook on Route 725.

Chris Keene was driving home just after 11 p.m. Thursday when he noticed someone swerving into oncoming traffic.

“Off-duty police officer, we are on 725 in the 2400 block heading toward Bellbrook behind a possible DUI,” Keene said on the 911 call to dispatch.

Keene, who is an officer with the Franklin Police Department, followed a silver SUV for miles until first responders could arrive.

“He’s trying to get around that road closure since it’s high water and he’s actually going through the sign now,” Keene explained on the 911 call.

Shortly after, Keene said he lost sight of vehicle.

“It was something out of a movie,” Keene explained. “It was there and all of a sudden, it was gone.”

The driver hit an ODOT truck before flipping and landing into a flooded ditch.

“The ODOT driver who was actually struck actually exited his vehicle and jumped in the water, and reached out in to grab the guy because he was below water,” Keene said.

He said he jumped in to bust open windows while the ODOT driver held the man's head above the water as they waited for backup.

“You can tell the ODOT vehicle driver, he was in a lot of pain," Keene said, "so I had him get back into the roadway until the medics could arrive.”

ABC 22/FOX 45's photographer was on scene before crews arrived and called 911. Fire crews were able to pull out the victim from his overturned vehicle about ten minutes after they arrived.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that crash could’ve been a lot worse if that ODOT driver and people weren’t around to actually save that driver’s life,” Keene said.

The driver was charged with OVI and driving on a closed highway. The ODOT truck driver was taken to the hospital, but he is expected to be okay.

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