Local dentist busts car window to protect driver

A hit and run over the weekend left an elderly woman stranded and injured on the side of the road.

Posted: Apr 29, 2019 6:25 PM
Updated: Apr 30, 2019 4:44 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A hit-and-run crash over the weekend left an elderly woman stranded and injured on the side of Earl Avenue. Now, one of the people who stopped to help is being recognized for going above and beyond.

“There was a car laying on its side,” said Dentist of Lafayette Restorative Dentistry James Lalonde. “Half on the road, half off.”

Lalonde as he was leaving church on Sunday when he saw the crash. According to Lafayette police, the woman was driving northbound on Earl Avenue when another driver going southbound veered over, hitting the woman’s vehicle and causing it to roll.

"There was an older woman yelling get me out of here, get me out of here,” said Lalonde. "She was just, you know, freaking out."

Other eyewitnesses wanted to roll the car off of its side. The woman had injuries and Lalonde knew that would be unsafe.

“I go, let me get into the door that’s pointing up to the sky,” said Lalonde.

With help, Lalonde busted out the window on the passenger side and climbed in.

“I wanted to make sure there was no smoke, no gasoline, no kids in there,” said Lalonde.

Lalonde covered the woman with a blanket to shield her from any loose glass.

“I got under the covers with her,” said Lalonde. “And said some prayers with her and let her know that she was okay.”

Lalonde sat with her until EMTs arrived. Once he left the scene, something ironic happened. Dr. Lalonde saw the other driver apprehended by police in his office parking lot.

Co-worker Angie Hoggard said Lalonde’s actions don’t surprise her.

“He does house calls still for patients,” said Hoggard. “He’ll stay after hours for patients.”

Hoggard is the office manager at Lafayette Restorative Dentistry. She said his actions reassure this community has great people.

“There are still good people out there,” said Hoggard. “And that, you know, we need to come together more as a community.”

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