Lewiston Woodville, NC – A group of Good Samaritans pulled an injured North Carolina deputy from his crashed patrol car on New Year’s Eve, just moments before the cruiser burst into flames.
Dajour Keemer, 22, was headed to his parents’ home for a visit that rainy night, WITN reported.
His girlfriend, Akyia Stephenson, was driving, and Keemer and his cousin, Rashid Lee, were riding along when they all spotted a Bertie County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) vehicle crash into a tree, he later told the news outlet.
The deputy appeared to be responding to a call when the collision occurred, according to Keemer.
“All of a sudden, he just veered off to the right,” he told WITN. “It looked like as if he parked the car fast or something, ‘cause we were still further back.”
But as they drove up on the deputy’s vehicle, they realized it had collided with a tree and had smoke rising up from it.
Keemer later said they might not have noticed the crash in the dark if they hadn’t watched it happen firsthand.
“The lights on the car were out because when he hit the tree it busted the radiator, killed the battery, everything,” he told WITN. “If it wasn’t for us seeing it – we probably wouldn’t have noticed him.”
Stephenson brought her car to a stop and they all jumped out and ran towards the injured deputy as he began yelling for help.
“In that moment, my first thought was ‘I can’t let this man die in front of me,’” Keemer recalled. “We’re here now…we just got to take action.”
But when he reached the deputy, he discovered he was going to need to free him from the car in order to get him to safety, WITN reported.
“He tried to pull himself up. That’s when he noticed that he had broken bones,” Keemer explained. “So, he couldn’t move, so he told me to [grab him] and I pulled him out and we fell into the ditch.”
The rescue came just in time.
“As soon as we touched the ground, that’s when the car burst into flames,” Keemer told WITN.
The trio moved the injured deputy away from the inferno as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
He was rushed to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where he underwent surgery, WCNC reported.
Keemer said the deputy’s family and BCSO contacted him after the wreck to thank them for coming to the deputy’s aid, according to WITN.
The deputy said he wants to meet his rescuers after he has recovered, WITN reported.
“I had a lot of fear in my heart [when it happened],” Keemer said, reflecting on the events of that night. “At the same time, I knew I couldn’t let the fear take over my actions. I knew my actions was more important than what I was feeling at the time so I was afraid definitely, but I just knew it was important to make a move now because I knew a fire was about to break out.”
Keemer said he simply did “what God put me in a position to do,” WNCN reported.