Officers recognized for rescuing two after crash

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In the early morning hours of Feb. 17, a call went out for a car in a ditch in Zilwaukee Township near SVSU.

The first officers to arrive to the scene of the crash were Officer Ryan Persails and Officer Charles Coleman II, both of whom are SVSU University Police officers.

In the vehicle were a 24-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman.

When the officers arrived on the scene, Persails left his duty belt in the patrol vehicle and removed his jacket, uniform shirt, and vest and gave them to a bystander while he climbed into the ditch to assist the female to safety. He was able to safely return her to the patrol vehicle.

Meanwhile, Coleman helped the man to safety with assistance from the bystander, who had initially called the police.

“Both the male driver and female passenger were soaking wet from being in the water in the ditch,” Coleman said. “By [the time we got them out of danger], the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department, MMR personnel, the Saginaw County Dive Team, Kochville Township Fire Department and Buena Vista Fire Department had arrived on scene to start their investigation.”

They said that upon receiving the call, their initial reaction was the immediate concern for the passengers in the vehicle as they knew that they would be the first officers on scene.

Without the quick response from the University Police officers, the driver and passenger could have caught hypothermia, or even worse, died.

“We would like to thank the caller and witness for standing by and helping officers in this incident,” Coleman said.

The heroic acts of the officers allowed two people to survive a life or death situation with minor injuries, and the University Police allowed for a potentially fatal situation to be handled in a quick and organized way.

“I would like to commend Officer Ryan Persails and Officer Charles Coleman II for the lifesaving work they did while responding to [the accident],” University Police Chief Leo Mioduszewski said. “I am very proud of the work they and the other University Police Officers do for us on a daily basis.”

Being in a career where car accidents are a very frequent occurrence, this was another opportunity for officers to save lives and set an example for the rest of the officials who responded after the initial response.

“A piece of driver’s safety I would tell students on campus is to always be aware of your surroundings and be distraction free,” Persails said. “Do not text and drive.”