The Chula Vista police officer who rescued a driver suffering from a medical emergency said he was grateful to be at the right place at the right time.
Officer Evan Linney had just started his patrol in the South Bay neighborhood when he noticed a woman swerving near the Chula Vista Police Station, in the area of 200 Broadway, around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday.
The driver hit a parked vehicle in the area and drove along 4th Avenue.
Linney tried to get her to pull over as she was driving eastbound on the 300 block of F Street.
"As she drove past me I had two thoughts. One was medical emergency, the second was possible DUI driver," Linney said.
But despite efforts to pull her over, the driver did not stop: she kept going and crashed into a median on 4th Avenue.
The driver became high sided, making the car immobile. However, the driver's foot was still on the gas pedal, causing the tires to spin out and, eventually, burn.
When officers approached the car, they immediately realized the driver was suffering from a medical emergency.
"We broke the windows out on her car and were able to get her safely out the car and we determined that she was having a medical emergency and we were able to get her treatment from the paramedics," Linney said.
The female driver was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. The officers were treated for glass injuries to the hands and eyes.
Linney said the entire incident unfolded quickly, at a convenient location: she crashed in front of the police station, across from a fire station, and down the street from a hospital.
"For an incident like this to happen, it couldn’t have happened at a better place, because emergency resources were able to respond very quickly and make the situation safe," Linney said.
He said he was grateful he and his fellow officers could help the woman so quickly, and that no one else was injured.
"It all happened so quick, I think it was all over within a five minute period," Linney said. "It was pretty amazing and I’m really grateful we were able to safely get her out of the car, and she was not injured, and we only received minor injuries and no other innocent civilians were injured in the entire incident. That’s the most important thing."
Linney wants to warn drivers: if you are not feeling well, or are taking medication that makes it unsafe to drive, stay off the roads to keep yourself and other drivers safe.
"I’m very glad that there were no terrible consequences in this incident but it does happen, so just be careful," he said.