Mansfield officer says he was at the right place and time to save choking driver

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MANSFIELD — A Mansfield officer says he was just in the right place at the right time when he saved a woman's life last month.

It happened almost three weeks ago, on January 13th, as Officer Chad Stevens was driving back to Mansfield from Everman.

He says he noticed a woman driving slowly along I-20 at Anglin with her hazards on.

He says she looked to be in distress, and it was quickly confirmed when she pulled over and stumbled toward him, holding her neck to indicate she was choking.

Officer Stevens administered the Heimlich Manuever until a piece of gum popped out of her mouth -- all the while aware of the traffic zooming past them.

Her fear and subsequent relief are palpable as he lowers her to the ground afterward.

The officer talked about the nerve-wracking moments during a news conference Thursday morning.

"I knew what to do. I turned her around and tried to get the airway cleared, but in the back of my mind I'm also thinking that we're on Interstate 20. Traffic was heavy. It was a Saturday at noon, so traffic was very heavy," says Officer Stevens.

"So I'm making sure that I'm keeping her safe and out of the traffic, as well as keeping all the individuals who are passing us safe and aware that we're on the side of the road with an emergency situation going on."

It turns out another driver had swerved in front of the woman, startling her, and causing her to breathe in the gum she'd been chewing.

After giving the officer her sincere thanks, she refused medical attention and was able to drive away.

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