MILFORD — Wayne and Barb Richardson, Ocala, Fla., formerly of Milford, were rescued from a potentially dangerous situation en route back to Milford by an off duty Indiana State Trooper. The trooper is from the Versailles Post.
The Richardsons were traveling on Interstate 74 back to Milford for a funeral, when their vehicle ran over something in the roadway that caused the left rear tire to go flat. They were east of Greensburg.
Wayne Richardson pulled over to the side of the road. “There was only three feet of space,” Wayne said, between his car and the interstate traffic. But the 80-year-old got out of his car, went to the trunk and pulled out the jack. He crawled under the vehicle to see where the jack was to be placed, and heard a voice say “I hope I didn’t scare you.”
Crawling back out, he looked and saw a state police vehicle with its lights activated and an officer who was out of uniform. He told the officer what had happened and they both noted there was not much room between the vehicle and traffic. The officer said he would try to figure out the spot for the jack and asked Richardson to stand off to the side. After handing over the jack, Richardson watched the officer crawl under the car, place the jack and jack up the car. He changed the tire and then replaced the jack in the trunk and the damaged tire. He then told them they were ready to go and said to have a good day. The officer said he was heading home to watch a movie with his wife.
“I was so thankful I could hardly speak,” Wayne said. “I took his hand and shook it. He was off duty. He didn’t have to stop. I’m 80 years old and have not changed a tire for a while. He did a good deed that day.” The Richardsons drove up the road, stopped at a store and purchased four new tires to have placed on the vehicle and continued on their way back to Milford.
They notified their grandson, Jonathan Shaw, what had happened who first contacted the Greensburg Police who then directed him to the Versailles Post. “I wanted to thank the officer,” Shaw stated. The dispatcher, who was aware of the assistance, gave him the name of Trooper Chris Clark. “It made me feel good that someone was helping them out.”
The Mail-Journal contacted Sgt. Stephen B. Wheeles, public information officer for Versailles District 42. He noted it is not unusual for troopers of that district to stop and help motorists on Interstates 74 or 65. However, Wheeles stated he has not been able to “even figure out which trooper was involved.” He spoke with Trooper Chris Clark, who said he didn’t think it was him. He also checked with Trooper Korry Clark, who said it was not him. The dispatch cannot find any record of the incident on that date and is not sure how the name of Chris Clark was reported as the trooper who helped.
However, he is continuing to check so the officer can be thanked by the Richardson family.