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There's a guy under the car!

In the Capital District area of NY where I was an officer, the snow can get pretty deep! One night, about 3AM, after about a foot of new snow, which had accumulated on top of about another two feet Jr officer, who was a female was riding with me doing her OJT stint. Usually at this time of night there is no...and I mean NO traffic. We would play for tire tracks in the snow and follow them just to see what idiot would be out in it! Usually that idiots trail led to a parked cruiser!

Anyway, we pulled int a gas station and let the RADAR go through its hum. We heard the Doppler rise and saw a car coming toward us at a respectable and legal speed...but too fast for conditions. At about 300 feet from us it went off the road...the headlights making circles in the snow laden trees. We pulled out, called the station of a 10-50.(accident) Upon arriving at the scene, crossing snowbanks higher than either one of us we found the car...engine running and in gear, the rear tires trying to grab solid ground..which was about 2 feet below the snow surface. I put the car in park and shut off the ignition and we looked all over for the driver...none to be had. We couldn't find any footprints leading from the vehicle! The a sound..."Hey, I'm under here!" HUH? We told the voice to keep talking as we couldn't quite locate it. We had a tow service in the area that was very prompt, the owner had an old Mack of 50's vintage. That thing would go anywhere. We started to push snow from under the bumper of the car and saw a human arm, then another one, digging in the snow UNDER the car!

I had the tow operator come over, he winched the car in such a way that the passenger side came up and the person was able to get out from under the car. Other than a few burn marks from the catalytic and some slight bruisers, he was alright. No odor of alcohol, proof he had in fact just gotten out of work at a local newspaper, he told us what had happened. We saw the car lose traction and go over the snowbank...what we didn't see was the car roll and the drivers door opening letting the unsecured driver out of the vehicle, in mid roll. There was no damage to the car, as the recent snow was still fluffy and not frozen. The vehicle came to a stop with the driver under the car! Now that's having a guardian angel on your shoulder!

Michael Kowalski
Niskayuna NY Police Department

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