Alert Delta Police officer was in right place at right time

DELTA Police officers often do paperwork in varied locations throughout the City, as a way to help keep an eye on things. One officer’s decision to station himself in the backstreets of Ladner may recently have saved a man’s life.

The officer – a junior member in the department – was doing paperwork in his police vehicle at the corner of 28th Avenue and 53rd Street in Ladner just before 1 a.m. on Saturday, January 16.

Out of the corner of his eye he spotted a moving light from a farm field to the east in the 5600-block of 28th Avenue. He thought it might be a flashlight in the blueberry fields and decided to investigate.

Instead of a person cutting through the fields, he came across a black pickup truck, overturned in the ditch. Roads in that area have steep ditches on either side, as this is a farming area.

The vehicle was in approximately three to four feet of water and the vehicle’s front cab was completely submerged. Without hesitation the constable entered the frigid water to see if there were anyone in the truck.

He was able to hear a banging noise from inside the cab. He immediately radioed for help, and began trying to break the driver’s side window.

“He was able to partially extract the upper half of the driver’s body, while water was flooding in through the window,” said Acting Deputy Chief Harj Sidhu.

Once other police and Delta firefighters arrived, the man was able to be fully pulled out, and was transferred to a waiting ambulance for observation. The driver did not appear to have suffered significant injuries, but was taken to hospital for examination.

“It is wonderful to see that when faced with a rapidly developing situation, our constable stepped up and made a quick decision to help, risking his own safety.  He went above and beyond, and likely saved the driver’s life,” said Sidhu. “He was definitely in the right place at the right time.”

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in this crash.