LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — You’ll see plenty out your windshield in Larimer County: folks heading home from work, even some wet weather coming in.
That’s where this story takes place, from the vantage point of a windshield — Larimer County Sheriff’s Deputy Derek Miller’s windshield, to be exact.
It was Mother’s Day, and Miller had just answered a dispatch call for a flooded car near Mulberry Street and Interstate 25.
“The vehicle was completely steamed on the inside from the water hitting the engine block,” Miller said.
“Once I arrived,” Miller said, “I saw that there was a handprint on the back. Somebody kept hitting the back window of the vehicle but we couldn’t see inside the vehicle.”
Handprints were a desperate sign that people needed help. With his vest and body camera off, Miller went to work.
“There was a 16-year-old, disabled young man, in the front passenger’s seat of the vehicle,” Miller said.
Tense moments followed when Miller tried to get to the teen, eventually getting the passenger’s front door open.
“I threw him over my shoulders and I started working my way out of the water,” Miller said.
Miller’s windshield camera shows him carrying the teen away from the flooded car.
“I got him to the embankment, and luckily we have some good citizens of Larimer County that helped assist,” Miller said.
Miller helped the teen’s mother and another passenger away as well.
His instincts as a father, he said, helped guide his actions that Mother’s Day.
“When you have kids and stuff like that,” Miller said, “yeah, you think about your kids and what you’re going through and how their parents would feel.”
His heroic deeds were seen from the view of his windshield, but also that of others who stepped into the frame that day.
“I have not been able to find out who they were but a huge thank you to them and their help in that incident,” Miller said.
No injuries were reported — just a deputy, his training and a great vantage of that training at work.