October 04, 2022
Local News

Dixon hero on the street 'just did what had to be done'

Man dives head first into car to stop it when driver was having seizure

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DIXON – Friday had been a stressful day, so Randy Tompkins and his wife, Heather, decided to enjoy the nice weather with a calming ride in his truck.

As it turned out, what would happen in the next half-hour wasn't going to do the trick. The Dixon couple was heading south on North Galena Avenue a bit after 4 p.m., and they were waiting at a stoplight in the 1300 block.

A blue car, moving slowly, was in the wrong lane and heading straight for the Tompkins' truck. Tompkins backed up his vehicle just in the nick of time.

"I saw him come out from behind the traffic, and he almost hit me in my lane," Tompkins, 39, said. "I knew something was wrong, but I didn't realize he was having a seizure until he got to the intersection."

Tompkins said what happened next was a bit of a blur, but the city's newest hero "just did what had to be done".

"He was in danger himself, and he was a danger to others," Tompkins said. "My adrenaline was pumping, and I just reacted."

Tompkins put his truck in park, ran to the moving car and crawled through the open passenger-side window. As he was getting the car in park, police officers who had seen the vehicle run a red light at Galena and Fourth Avenue, approached the car, which was finally at rest.

Before he even put the car into park, however, Tompkins instinctively put two fingers in the driver's mouth to make sure he hadn't swallowed his tongue during the seizure.

Dixon Police said, because the driver of the blue car didn't actually cause an accident, the situation is being treated as a medical call and his name couldn't be released.

Police said the male, in his late 20s or early 30s, was taken to KSB Hospital in Dixon. They said he was responding quickly at the scene, and it was believed he was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

Officers said it was an unusual situation even for them.

"We see quite a few medical-related accidents, but we see them after the fact," said Officer Lincoln Sharp, who was on the scene. "I've never seen anything like this while it was actually happening."

Tompkins said he found it odd that he was nearly in an accident exactly 1 year to the day his wife was in a horrible crash near Rochelle. He said Heather sustained multiple injuries, including 15 broken bones, and still hasn't fully recovered.

Tompkins said he might still have a difficult time relaxing during the weekend – he said his phone was blowing up with all of the callers and texters paying homage to the hero.