Quick Thinking Deputy Stops Runaway Truck, Saves 70-Year-Old Driver

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A Martin County Sheriff’s Office deputy used some quick thinking to stop a runaway truck and save a 70-year-old driver. Dianne Cohoon, 70, called 911 frantically because she needed help. She told dispatchers her 1989 pickup truck wouldn’t slow down. “I cannot stop the truck. I cannot get it below 45 MPH. I have 1/8 of a tank left, I’ve been trying to run it out,” Cohoon is heard saying on a 911 dispatch recording obtained by WPTV. “I’ve got to make it through Indiantown without killing anybody and I’m scared,” Cohoon said.

Law enforcement units were trying to get traffic ahead of her out of the way, shut off lanes, and surround her truck. Behind her Deputy Steve Beatty, made the decision to pull a PIT maneuver. Deputies say he tapped the back of the truck to cause it to spin, and stop.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told WPTV, “He had to make a decision, really a life or death situation. It’s not in any way an over statement to say there’s a good possibility he saved her life, somebody else’s life, or at least serious bodily injury,” said the Sheriff.

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office shared the news along with photos on their Facebook page:

“Some tense moments for an elderly driver who was unable to stop her pick-up truck as it was traveling 45-miles per hour along SR710 in Indiantown. The 70-year old driver called 911 to say her brakes were not working, and she was unable to pull the key out of the ignition. Deputy Steve Beatty began communicating with the woman on the phone, as he tried to direct her on how to stop the truck, however, all efforts failed. At one point the driver was able to remove the keys, but the engine stayed on and the truck continued to move. In addition, the truck began to smoke. As a last resort, Deputy Beatty strategically performed a PIT maneuver on the vehicle, successfully disabling the truck just before the roadway narrowed to one lane for construction work. The driver was anxious, but uninjured thanks to the heroic efforts of Deputy Beatty. Great job.”

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