Mitchell Loewen, the 25 year old defensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints football team, was part of a group of bystanders that helped rescue a man who became trapped in his Mercedes G-Class after it drove over the edge of a parking garage Sunday afternoon.
According to The Times-Picayune, Loewen was eating brunch with his family when he heard what sounded like an explosion behind him. It turned out to be a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen that had fallen from the fourth floor of the parking garage down the street.
In the news broadcast from WWL-TV embedded below, you can see the aftermath of the incident and footage recorded of bystanders flipping the vehicle back over:
According to the Times, Loewen was one of the first to rush up to the vehicle and check on its occupant, who was reported to be a man in his 20s, was trapped under the weight of the overturned vehicle in the front seat, but was responsive. The bystanders decided to flip the vehicle over to get to the man better. Here’s more from the Times:
“I got really worried. We couldn’t see into the car very well, but the doors were so crushed we couldn’t open them,” Loewen said.
Another bystander crawled into the car and opened the back-passenger door from the inside, Loewen said. He called out to say the man was still conscious. Loewen wrenched open the door from the outside, ripping it off its hinges and leaned into the car to speak with the man.
“He didn’t say much, he was just thanking us all. I hugged him and told him he was going to be ok, and then I prayed with him,” Loewen said. “I couldn’t tell how bad his injuries were, but there was a lot of blood and broken glass.”
After already flipping the vehicle over, the bystanders realized that trying to remove the person was too dangerous given their condition and waited for paramedics to arrive.
The person in the car is expected to recover from their injuries, but the incident is still under investigation, according to local police. Loewen told the Times: “I just want to meet the guy and talk to him. I’m still in awe and can’t stop thinking about him and praying that he’s all right.”