Rookie sheriff’s deputy uses Heimlich maneuver to save motorist

Deputy Wells is interviewed by media members at the rescue site on Nov. 22. (Sheriff’s office photo)

Press release from LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office:

On Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, at 10:35 a.m., LaPorte County Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Wells was on patrol near Michigan City when he clocked a vehicle traveling at 70 mph on U.S. 421 near I-94. Deputy Wells

Deputy Austin Wells

pursued and stopped the vehicle, a maroon Honda SUV, on CR 400 N at Cleveland Road. Upon approaching the driver Deputy Wells observed that the driver was in distress, was unable to speak and had a reddish purple color in the face and bluish tint to her lips. Deputy Wells called for an ambulance and asked the driver, a 65-year-old female, if she could breathe; she indicated that she could not.

Deputy Wells quickly pulled the driver from her vehicle and performed the Heimlich maneuver. Following four thrusts to the driver’s abdomen, the blockage from her airway was dislodged. Once the driver had recovered, she explained that she had been eating honey mustard nuts when she began choking on a nut.

An ambulance from LaPorte County Emergency Medical Service arrived and checked the driver, who had fully recovered and refused medical treatment.

Deputy Wells graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy this past June and has been a patrol deputy for five months. All sheriff’s deputies regularly receive medical training, including first aid and CPR.

LaPorte County Sheriff John Boyd praised Deputy Wells for his fast action in recognizing the medical emergency. “What could very well have ended in tragedy had a great outcome due to Deputy Wells’ quick action. We are thankful that the driver was alright following what had to be a scary few moments.”

3 Responses to “Rookie sheriff’s deputy uses Heimlich maneuver to save motorist”

  1. John

    Nov 22. 2017

    Wow! What an amazing story! So glad this had a good outcome. Maybe moral is: Don’t eat and drive.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Beaker

    Nov 22. 2017

    Maybe there is no moral. Maybe it’s just that Deputy Sheriff Wells was at the right place at the right time. End of story.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Bill Gangwer

    Nov 27. 2017

    Right time, right place, divine intervention whatever the circumstance. It was a cool headed well trained deputy just “doing his job”. So thankful we have law enforcement officers like Deputy Wells to serve and protect the citizens of LaPorte County!! Well done Deputy Wells!!!!

    Reply to this comment

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