Rowan Sheriff’s Office detective Josh Simmons and North Carolina state trooper Justin Stone saved the life of an elderly woman on Tuesday.
Rowan Sheriff Kevin Auten told WBTV that Detective Simmons was on his way to Winston-Salem to interview someone at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in the pursuit of an unrelated case when he noticed a car on fire on the opposite side of Highway 52.
“Noticed the smoke coming from the front of it, you could see flames, the glow of the fire underneath the car,” Simmons said. “Then I saw someone sitting in the driver’s seat.” Acting quickly, Simmons pulled to the side of the highway, then crossed its lanes and the cable barrier median to reach the vehicle.
“As I was getting closer, you could see the fire getting more intense,” Simmons remembered. He found the unnamed elderly woman in the driver’s seat of her vehicle, unable to escape. Just minutes before the car was fully engulfed in flames, the detective pulled her out.
Trooper Justin Stone with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol arrived soon after, escorting them to the safety of his vehicle — and just in time. “I got her and the detective to come back to my car,” he said. “As I got them back to my patrol car, the car began to be engulfed in flames and eventually started to blow up.”
Detective Simmons credited his upbringing, and instinct, for his heroic actions. “The way I was raised, you take care of people. I didn’t know who was in the car, it didn’t matter who they were… They needed help,” Simmons said. “That’s what I signed up for, was to help anybody. It’s really just an instinct thing.”