Deputy talks about saving 2 toddlers after SUV flips on I-85 in Orange County

Durham County News

On Thursday morning a captain with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office witnessed an SUV rollover on Interstate 85 in Orange County.

The veteran officer was able to rescue two children before paramedics arrived, but Capt. Raheem Aleem says he’s not the only hero in this story.

Aleem says he just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

“I don’t really know if you believe in divine intervention, but I just picked up something from someone in Mebane and I was coming back and I had a meeting on (Highway) 15-501, so I was gonna go 15-501, but I said ‘no, let me go by the office first’,” said Aleem. “So, I kept going straight.”

Then, suddenly, a car right in front of him started flipping. Aleem says a mother was behind the wheel of the SUV, with two toddlers in the back seat. 

He says she was in the right lane and got in the left lane to pass and crashed into a guardrail.

“Hit the guardrail veered completely across the highway and went up the hill, started spinning in the trees, tumbling down to the ground,” Aleem said.

So, he flipped on his emergency lights and got out of the car.

“We saw Pampers strewn across the highway and when I got up to the car I heard kids screaming and I looked inside the back window and the kids were hanging,” said Aleem.  

Aleem says he saw the mom, but he couldn’t reach her.

“I couldn’t get inside the sunroof – it was shattered,” said Aleem. “So I went to the back of the car. I got inside the vehicle and was able to get the kids out of the seat belt.”

Aleem says by that time, four different cars had pulled over to help. He passed off the children to the good Samaritans.

“That reaffirms your belief in humanity because they actually stopped,” Aleem said. “I don’t know where they were from, but they ran up to the car. I think everyone that was there was a hero. Everyone that was there because they actually stopped their cars and came to help.”

Aleem says the mother and both children are out of the hospital and are recovering. 

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