Off-duty Orono police officer stops to rescue woman in flipped SUV on I-394

- Josh Needham, an off-duty Orono police officer, was on his way home from the gym with his fiance Katie Ley Tuesday morning when they saw an overturned vehicle on I-394 and Central Avenue in Wayzata.

In the thick of rush hour, the off-duty cop didn't hesitate to pull over. He broke the SUV’s window and jumped inside to ensure the woman was okay.

"One of the individuals on scene gave me a hammer and I hammered out the passenger window, and then the door opened," Needham told Fox 9.

With no real signs of trauma besides not remembering what happened, Needham decided what the driver needed most was someone to simply stay with her and keep her calm until she could be cut out of the vehicle. The officer stayed by the woman's side for nearly an hour -- a simple act of kindness that had quite the impact.

The Wayzata Fire Department arrived to pull the woman to safety, but she wouldn’t let the ambulance leave until she had a chance to thank Needham.

"They got her out of the vehicle, and then we were going to leave and the paramedic came running back and said she wants to talk to you... and she didn't want the ambulance to leave until she had the chance to say thank you to [Needham]," Ley said.

The driver is expected to be fine. She told police she didn't remember what happened, and investigators recommended she have a driving evaluation.

Even though Needham wasn't on duty, he still got to do the part of his job as a police officer that he loves most: helping those who need it.


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