Dramatic dash cam video shows a car creep through a red traffic signal at a busy intersection in northern Illinois, forcing other vehicles to slam on the brakes and let it pass.
It approached 39-year-old Randy Tompkins, who was driving a pickup truck late last week in Dixon, about 100 miles west of Chicago. Tompkins threw his truck in reverse to avoid a head-on collision, then jumped out of his truck and leapt through the passenger-side window of the moving car, police said.
The brake lights flashed red and the car jolted to a stop.
Tompkins told the Chicago Tribune he had realized the driver was having a seizure and he knew what he needed to do.
“He had his arms up by his chest,” he told the newspaper. “I didn’t know if the guy was gonna push the gas, jerk the wheel or whatever, so I waited as long as I could to back up,” Tompkins said. “Once he got about a half-car length away from me, I parked my truck at an angle and jumped out of my vehicle.”
He put two fingers into the driver’s mouth to keep him from swallowing his tongue, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“I did that really fast, and then I stopped the car,” he said. “I was worried, but I would do that for anybody. It just happened to be I was at the right place at the right time.”
Tompkins could not be immediately reached for comment.
The Dixon Police Department said in a statement that officers were on patrol Friday when they spotted the car driving through the intersection on North Galena Avenue, “almost striking several vehicles.”
The officers flashed their emergency lights and attempted to pull the car over — then saw Tompkins take action.
“The driver of the truck could see the driver of the car and observed that something looked medically wrong,” police said. Tompkins “exited his vehicle, ran up to the car and without hesitation jumped into the car through the passenger side window in an attempt to stop it. Tompkins was able to get the car in park just as officers approached the vehicle as well. The driver of the vehicle was found to be having a seizure.”
Police said Tompkins showed “heroism” by “coming to a complete stranger’s aid.”
The driver, who has not been publicly identified by police, was taken to a nearby hospital, according to the statement.
Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but police Lt. Clay Whelan told the Chicago Tribune that the department does “not recommend people doing this.”
Tompkins told the Tribune that the driver reached out to him on Facebook over the weekend, thanking Tompkins and telling him it was the first seizure that he has ever had.
A Facebook user matching Tompkins’s name called it a “Dukes of Hazzard” moment.
“Wow I just saved this guy’s life in the blue car,” according to a June 2 Facebook post. “I jumped in his car he was having a seizure at the wheel the cops said they saw me jump in his window like dukes of Hazzard it was crazy I saw him coming at me so I backed up real fast to the side and jumped out and jumped in his car to stop it wow my adrenaline is still going.”