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‘He would’ve died on the spot’: Bystanders lift car, rescue man pinned in Redmond parking lot

Five men lifted the car while two women pull man from under tire

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Coleen Mitchell and Cindy Leroue work at two businesses in a strip mall off Southwest Sixth street in Redmond. On Thursday morning, Mitchell was the first to see what happened when a man became trapped underneath a car. She ran next door, where Leroue called Deschutes County 911.

"I saw him standing in the parking lot, kind of on the side towards the rear of the car. His dad was backing up. I turned my back -- turned back around -- and hear a scream. That's when I ran out and saw him on the pavement." Mitchell recalled later.

Leroue told NewsChannel 21 the front passenger-side tire was atop the man's left shoulder. and he seemed unresponsive. She said the whole ordeal took about five minutes until, first responders arrived.

Leroue and Mitchell said while they waited for the ambulance to arrive, they went outside and yelled for help. Five men lifted the car, while Leroue and Mitchell grabbed the man by his shirt and pants and dragged him only a few inches, to free him.

"They were able to get it up enough that Coleen and I were able to gently pull him away from the tire and get the tire off of his heart," Leroue said. "If we hadn't have done that, he would've died on the spot -- and after that happened, he started coming to a little bit and was able to talk to us."

Redmond police said they responded around 10:40 a.m. to the accident involving a pedestrian reportedly trapped under a vehicle in the 600 block of Southwest Sixth Street. When officers arrived, the 54-year-old man had been freed from beneath the car.

A Redmond Fire & Rescue ambulance rushed the man to St. Charles Bend..

First responders often drive on 6th Street to get to the highway. It's a one-way road with two lanes. The women say they were frustrated to see drivers who were not getting out of the way for the ambulance. They say it's a big issue in that area.

"When you hear a siren, they need to pull over and stop gawking around and seeing what's going on or whatever. They need to get the heck out of Dodge," Mitchell said.

Police provided a statement to NewsChannel 21 that read in part, "The initial investigation revealed this MVA isn’t criminal in nature."

"RPD is very thankful for the community members who helped the patient until he received medical assistance from first responders," they said.

The two women said waiting for the ambulance felt like forever -- and that they don't want to be considered a hero, that they did just what you do when someone needs help.

Accidents and Crashes / Central Oregon / Local News / News / Top Stories
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Carly Keenan

Carly Keenan is a multimedia journalist and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Carly here.



  1. lot of people these days like with that woman that beat up a white woman at a little cesars in georgia last month would just stand there and video it. Thankfully these 2 women helped.

  2. I’m not quite sure what they mean that it was not criminal in nature, but in the law it is known as ‘failure to yield’ to a pedestrian. They might mean they are not going to file charges. They rarely do. I was knocked down on the side walk last month by a driver not paying attention in Bend. The cop did not cite her for that or her failure to have insurance or a driver’s license. He said the City policy most of the time is to just warn people. Just like this week when the BPD said they are not citing people for driving in construction zones. They are breaking the law, still.

    1. Yes. He was both not paying attention and probably accelerating very quickly to do this. Walking in parking lots is a real crapshoot, because cars are parked close together, so drivers have to back out without being able to see what’s coming. I like the parking lots that have sidewalks between rows, but that does take up more acreage.

  3. One comment says that the tire was on his heart, and another comments says
    that it was on his shoulder. As far as I know, your heart isn’t in your shoulder.

  4. God people the story was about the 2 ladies that actually helped someone. In this day and age that’s a pretty big deal. And I’m pretty sure that not a lot of people would have reacted the way they did by reading all of your comments. This world has gone to well you know the phrase. But I just got to say thank you for being nice,compationant, hero’s Mrs. Mitchell and Mrs. Laroue its nice to see there are some descent human beings out there still. And to the five guys that lifted the car off the gentleman thank you to you guys are awesome, good job to all of you for saving that man’s life. And beeej get a life dude.

    1. Thank you ! Exactly what I was thinking…a good story with a happy ending and all people can do is post snarky, negative comments ? It is sad that our “human nature” can be so spiteful and cruel.

  5. I was there across the street saw the man pinned his face was bright purple he appeared to be dying . Time stood still its a very weird situation to be in. I ran across the street . I looked down at the guy and the car was parked across his left shoulder and part of his chest he was struggling to breathe and appeared to going into cardiac arrest the first thing I thought if was to move the car forward the woman insisted that men should lift the car ! I thought of lifting the passenger side wheel well but the man was pinned under that tire and it was difficult to lift without standing on him I grabbed the front bumper and lifted with all my might nothing happened some other guys ran over and we all lifted still nothing a young large man ran over and was able to lift the passenger side wheel well . And the woman slid the guy out . I could see his diagram was filling with air and he was breathing better also his color changed . The police showed up and then the fire station . The cars where not in the way for that long as we where waving them out get out of the way all in all it was real tragedy . The elderly gentlemen must have been in his late 90s and didn’t seem to realize what was going on. I am glad the guy is alive

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