FARMVILLE, Va. -- — The woman saved from her burning car by two Farmville Police officers last November got a chance to meet her rescuers for the first time on Tuesday.
“It was just a truly blessing that I got to meet the officer that saved me life,” said Sherby Lee after the meeting. “I’m so thankful and blessed that God sent him to me to save me.”
Lee, joined by dozens of friends and family at the historic Farmville train station, met with Ofcs. Olivia Martin and Dalton Foley a little under two months since the November 15th crash.
Lee said that morning she was driving in to work, but started feeling unwell and decided to drive the emergency room instead. She said the last thing remembered was pulling over at an intersection that was about three miles from where she eventually crashed
“How did I drive from that point to that point? I went over three bridges. There were trees. Everything. So, God had the steering wheel,” said Lee, who added she felt she also had some divine protection courtesy of her late husband. “He passed away over a year ago now and it still feels like yesterday to us and I think, you know, he was there and he told God, no, don’t bring her home yet. She needs to be there to take care of Boo [their daughter]. That’s what he would call her.”
Lee said she does not remember anything about the rescue, but is thankful for the quick actions of the two officers.
“His life was in danger, also. He could of backed up and said it was too much. But he put himself there and he pulled me out of that car,” said Lee. “He’s truly an angel sent from God and so was the other officer.”
Lee’s rescue was captured on the body cameras worn by both officers. Ofc. Foley was first on the scene and he pulled Lee from the driver’s seat after cutting off her seatbelt. While he did that, Ofc. Martin ran to the other side of the car to check for other passengers.
“You’re nervous. I mean, we both talked about it. You’re scared, you’re kind of going through your mind, you don’t know what’s going to happen with the vehicle. So, you open the vehicle and you see somebody. And when I actually found somebody is in there, I took a pause, like, OK, let's go. You just take a half second, gather your thoughts and go to work,” said Foley. “It’s definitely faster in the moment. It felt like it took several minutes to get her out. In reality, it took us, I think, like, 30 seconds from the time we opened the door to checking the vehicle, and getting her pulled out of the vehicle to a safe distance. So it just felt like time slowed down in the moment and watching it, you realize how fast things actually did happen.”
“Didn’t realize it was that bad of a fire. At the time, later you watch and you go we were really close to the fire. Kind of didn’t really pay attention to things like that. Just paying attention to the woman in the vehicle and what you had to do for that time,” added Martin.
Lee said she has only seen some of the video of the rescue.
“I can’t look at it too much...It was terrifying,” said Lee, who, again, praised Foley for putting his life on the line for her. “I know he said he don’t like to be called a hero, but he is. He’s a hero. He’s my hero. He saved me.”
However, Foley said he and Martin were just doing what they signed up to do.
“We’ve been called that before. It’s awesome to hear and it’s a great thing, but we don’t feel that we are that. We definitely feel that we were in the right place at the right time and we did our jobs. But we don’t feel we are heroes. It’s just something that we have to do and we feel we did our jobs,” said Foley.
Lee said she is still recovering the effects of the crash. She did not suffer burns or broken bones, but did have a lot of smoke inhalation. She said she plans to return to her job as a dialysis nurse in the near future.
Lee added she is still undergoing testing to determine what medical emergency she suffered prior to the crash.