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Good Samaritan, changing tire, almost killed by suspected drunk driver

Posted at 11:24 PM, Jul 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-27 23:24:45-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va (WTVR)- A kind gesture by an off-duty Chesterfield cop turned into a few scary moments for a local real estate agent.

Susan Magee had a flat tire and pulled off to the side of the 288 northbound exit ramp, not knowing the spare would not only pertain to her tire, but also her life. "The officer stopped to help me,” Magee said.  “He was off duty."

But fixing a flat can be dangerous on the side of a highway or exit ramp.  "When she hit the road there was a lot of squealing,” said Magee about the driver who came along the curve at just that moment. 

And police say throwing  alcohol into the mix makes changing a tire a potentially deadly proposition.  They say it was almost that right on the ramp of 288 northbound Friday afternoon.  "[The officer] was standing by to help out a motorist when a car went up the embankment then struck his vehicle,"  said Chesterfield Police Sgt. Matthew McCartney.

Police say a woman driving a maroon car lost control around the curve of the ramp.  They claim she slammed into the side of the cruiser then bounced off the back of a pick-up truck.

When they asked her if she needed help, police say they detected a strong odor of alcohol.  She was taken to a local hospital to be checked out while Susan Magee remained shaken to her core. "If this police officer wasn't there, I don't know what would've happened,” she said.  “I credit him with saving my life."

Chesterfield Police say you can see by the way the officer’s Dodge Charger was positioned, that he did everything by the book.  His emergency lights were flashing, but they say that doesn't do much good, if a driver is impaired.

“If you see the lights, slow down, and move over, and give us space to work," said McCartney.

Police say the only injury was a minor one to the impaired driver.  They haven't released her name yet, but tell me charges are pending.