Above the Call

Highway wreck finds two correctional officers helping driver

Highway wreck found two correctional officers, shown here with a K-9 at a prison, helping.
Correctional Officer K. Beck and his K-9 partner Seger stand alongside Correctional Officer J. Ford III at the California Men’s Colony.

Officers Ford and Beck didn’t hesitate to respond

Two correctional officers happened to be traveling on Highway 101 when they saw a driver lose control and wreck into the guardrail. Wedged under the rail, the driver’s area was severely damaged. Both officers pulled over, rushing to the scene of the highway wreck.

Off-duty California Men’s Colony (CMC) Correctional Officer J. Ford III witnessed the accident as it happened. While traveling north on Highway 101, Officer Ford saw a small passenger car lose control, cut across multiple lanes of traffic, and finally wedge itself beneath the guardrails.

Meanwhile, CMC Correctional Officer K. Beck, a member of the Central Region K-9 Team, was returning from an assignment at another institution. He happened to be southbound on Highway 101 when he came across the accident.

Without hesitation, both officers responded to the wreck, but they feared the worst. The car had gone so far beneath the guardrail, they did not believe anyone survived.

A sign of life in the highway wreck

But, to their surprise, when they looked inside, the driver’s hand was giving them a thumbs-up. While shaken, the driver still let them know he was unharmed.

Officer Ford performed a triage-style medical evaluation of the driver before assisting Officer Beck with prying open a door. Once the driver was free, he was treated by the fire department, who were just arriving on the scene.

The response and aid they provided was invaluable, Ford and Beck said. Unfortunately, at the same time, a fatal shooting occurred in San Luis Obispo. Local agencies devoted their resources to that active crime scene, leaving limited responders to the accident.

By Lt. John Hill, California Men’s Colony.

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