Friday, December 18, 2015

Video: Nebraska deputy’s daring leap onto moving tractor

A Nebraska sheriff’s department has released dashcam video of a deputy’s dramatic attempt to aid a trucker who was having a diabetic episode while behind the wheel of his moving truck.

The deputy, Sgt. Todd Volk of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, was one of several officers who responded to a 911 call on Dec. 2 about a reckless tractor trailer heading northbound on Highway 81 near the Platte County line.

The video, which was shared by authorities with Land Line, shows Volk grabbing hold of the driver’s side door and mirror while the truck is driving down the highway at about 20 miles per hour. In the video, Volk can be seen taking a running leap on to the still-rolling tractor.

The video appears to show Volk outside of his truck on the right shoulder as the truck is being pursued by at least two other deputies. Once the truck passes him, the deputy returns to his truck and proceeds to speed around two more deputies before pulling off to the left shoulder, exiting his vehicle, and making a running leap onto the side of the truck.

Volk told the news station that another deputy observed the trucker to be unresponsive. He noticed that the man’s head was slumped down and he appeared to be unconscious.

“As he came by, I could see the driver’s head slumped down and felt he was not conscious, and it popped in my head that we need to get this vehicle stopped,” Volk said in an interview with News Channel Nebraska. “At that point in time, the truck was traveling about 20 mph. I jumped back in my patrol vehicle, punched it, and got up in front. I jumped out and jumped up, grabbed the hand railing and the mirror on the side of the truck, got in and hit the brakes.”

Madison County Sheriff Vern Hjorth credited Volk with taking the initiative that likely saved the trucker’s life, at great peril to his own.

“Quite simply, had he slipped or fallen or something, it could have been extremely dangerous for him physically,” he told the news agency. “But in this particular case it worked out really well.”

Kudos to Sgt. Volk, whose actions may have averted a potential catastrophe as the truck was making its way toward a nearby viaduct. And a reminder, kids, not to try this stuff at home.