(LUBBOCK, Texas) — A quick-moving police officer saved a woman from serious injury or possible death in Texas when a van crashed into a parked police car, sending it careening toward them.
Police officer Philip Standefer was investigating a minor car accident in Lubbock, Texas, when he leaped into action and pushed Sarah Beaty out of the way as an alleged drunken driver hit a police car, sending it flying toward her. The entire incident was caught on the dash-cam in another parked police car.
Both escaped with minor injuries, but Beaty, 19, still struggles to put her gratitude into words for a man she calls her “hero.”
“Thank you doesn’t really cover the fact that I’m here and talking,” Beaty said.
It was in Lubbock on Sept. 17, when Beaty was talking to officers about a fender-bender she had just witnessed. Beaty’s car was parked alongside the median in the middle of the road when suddenly a van slammed into a parked cop car on the other side of the concrete median.
The mangled police car was hit with such force that it did a full 360-degree spin over the median where Standefer and Beaty were standing.
“I knew that she didn’t see the car coming. I just moved and got her out of the way and wasn’t quick enough to get out of the way myself,” Standefer said.
After the crash, Standefer was pinned between the police car and Beaty’s car.
“I looked at my leg and it didn’t look like it was pointing in the right direction,” Standefer said.
Standefer was taken to the hospital but only suffered a bruised leg and a few pulled muscles. Beaty escaped with a few minor scrapes on her face.
“If he hadn’t been there, I don’t know what would have happened to me,” Beaty said. “I call him a hero.”
Standefer said, “My job is to serve and protect people. I’m just humbled I got the opportunity to do so.”
The driver of the van was arrested at the scene of the accident.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ralph Ellis and Sara Sidner, CNN
Stefania Okolie and Gabrielle Harmon, CNN