Deputy saves driver having seizure in traffic

Deputy John Cage ran to stop a moving SUV whose driver was slumped over

Washington County Sheriff's Deputy John Cage saved a man who was having a seizure while behind the wheel of a moving SUV in Cornelius, November 4, 2017 (KOIN)
Washington County Sheriff's Deputy John Cage saved a man who was having a seizure while behind the wheel of a moving SUV in Cornelius, November 4, 2017 (KOIN)

CORNELIUS, Ore. (KOIN) — Deputy John Cage with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was on traffic patrol around 11 a.m. Saturday when he pulled over a speeding driver on Baseline in Cornelius.

The driver was going to get a ticket, and Cage walked back to his patrol car to handle the paperwork. That’s when his focus turned to something completely different.

Washington County Sheriff's Deputy John Cage saved a man who was having a seizure while behind the wheel of this moving SUV in Cornelius, November 4, 2017 (Washington County Sheriff's Office)
Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy John Cage saved a man who was having a seizure while behind the wheel of this moving SUV in Cornelius, November 4, 2017 (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

“I step out of my car and at that time I look across the street and there looked like there was a crash,” he told KOIN 6 News on Monday. “A white truck was up against a curb and this gold Suburban was next to it, kind of still moving. And at that time the lady yelled, ‘I think he’s having a seizure,’ and I’m standing there by my car. Cars are zooming by me.”

Cage saw the Suburban go up into the driveway of a coffee shop, then drifted out of the driveway, heading toward oncoming traffic.

The Suburban, he said, was traveling very slowly — 1 or 2 miles per hour — but it was veering into traffic. Other drivers stopped to help when they saw the deputy in the street.

But Cage couldn’t see anyone in the driver’s seat.

“I took off running and I noticed there was someone in the car, and that’s when I took out my asp (a baton-like stick) and I started to try and smash the window,” he said. “I’m running and the car is still moving and still going.”

Washington County Sheriff's Deputy John Cage saved a man who was having a seizure while behind the wheel of this moving SUV in Cornelius, November 4, 2017 (Washington County Sheriff's Office)
Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy John Cage saved a man who was having a seizure while behind the wheel of this moving SUV in Cornelius, November 4, 2017 (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

He could see the driver was leaning over the console with his head “pretty much behind the passenger seat.” Cage had 2 simultaneous concerns: the driver, who was having a seizure and needed immediate medical help and the cars all around his still-moving Suburban — which was still headed toward oncoming traffic.

He kept banging on the window with his asp — “It’s all I had at the time” — as the car kept moving.

“Finally, I smashed the window as it hits the curb,” Cage told KOIN 6 News. “I unlock the door, open it up and put it in gear.”

The driver was covered in glass, but Cage said he sat him upright until the paramedics arrived. He appeared to be in distress, and Cage said the driver’s eyes were rolled back in his head.

“It was super sad.”

But while talking with KOIN 6 News. the driver, a 35-year-old man from Hillsboro, called Cage and said thanks. Cage told him not to be embarrassed and was glad to hear the man — who declined to speak with KOIN 6 News — was OK.

“If you’re out in Cornelius,” Cage told the driver, “call me up. We’ll get some coffee.”

Washington County Sheriff's Deputy John Cage saved a man who was having a seizure while behind the wheel of this moving SUV in Cornelius, November 4, 2017 (Washington County Sheriff's Office)
Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy John Cage saved a man who was having a seizure while behind the wheel of this moving SUV in Cornelius, November 4, 2017 (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

The speeder

As for the speeding driver who got pulled over as this was unfolding, Cage handed him his license back when it was all over.

“I told him, ‘You’re not going to get a ticket today.'”

For Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy John Cage, he’s just glad everyone is safe.

“You just never know what’s going to happen when you wake up and head to shift,” he said.