A California Highway Patrol officer said Tuesday he was simply doing his job when he pulled over a woman on the San Diego (405) Freeway in Torrance who was suffering from a stroke while driving.
“Originally, I thought it (saving her life) was not a big deal. I still don’t think it is. I was just doing my job,” said CHP Officer Kevin Preinitz, in accepting a plaque this morning for his efforts during a ceremony at the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance.
Preinetz, who had been on the job for four months, had also been trained as an emergency medical technician in college before becoming a California Highway Patrol officer.
Kathy Byron, 53, was headed from her home in Irvine to Los Angeles International Airport for a flight to Chicago on July 9 when she began driving erratically. She was unaware that she was having a stroke.
When Preinitz pulled Byron over he immediately realized that she was not under the influence.
“The left side of her face was drooping and she was drooling,” Preinitz said Paramedics rushed her to Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, a certified stroke treatment center — and not a moment too soon.
“Her symptoms could have worsened. They could have been permanent,” a hospital spokeswoman told ABC7.
Byron was released from the hospital, after a one-day stay.
During a teary-eyed speech this morning, Byron thanked Preinitz for his quick assessment of her situation.
“I just can’t believe I didn’t hurt anyone else on that freeway,” she said, later discovering her car had sustained significant damage from smashing into the freeway’s center divider.
“God and the angels were looking out for me.”
— City News Service