It’s not just the public they keep safe — it’s their own colleagues, too!

A Virginia police officer’s quick thinking and lightning-fast reflexes helped to save the life of his fellow officer when he pulled her out of the way of a skidding car that had crossed a median and crashed into her police cruiser.

The unexpected incident happened when Gate City Police Department Officer Jessica McGraw was responding to an accident on Highway 23, six miles from the Virginia-Tennessee border.

She radioed in a request to confirm the status of a driver’s license and Officer Matthew Stewart answered her call, meeting her at the roadside location.

How One Person’s Instincts Stopped a Police Officer From Getting Injured

police officer saves another police officer from a colliding car
Gate City Police Department / Facebook

As they were reviewing files by the side of the highway, Stewart suddenly clutched on to Officer McGraw and yanked her away from her patrol SUV.

A thirteen-second dash cam video showed a white sedan crashing into the side of the large police vehicle, which was propelled back and narrowly missed both officers.

While they were chatting, Stewart had looked up slightly and noticed a white vehicle that seemed to be skidding on the other side of the highway. Before he knew it, that vehicle was careening across the median and that’s when he pulled a puzzled McGraw away from her cruiser and out of danger’s way.

Thankfully, both officers avoided any serious injuries in the collision. Stewart said his leg went numb “like I had a bad charley horse,” which was caused by the brush guard on the bottom of McGraw’s SUV grazing his leg.

How One Police Officer’s Quick-Thinking Saved a Life

The shaken officers called in on their radios after the crash. Virginia State Police investigated the officer-involved accident, and the driver of the white vehicle was given a ticket for ‘failure to maintain proper control of their vehicle.’

“It is my belief the quick actions of Officer Stewart not only saved himself from serious bodily injury or death but also that of Officer McGraw,” Virginia’s Gate City Police Chief Justin Miller wrote on the station’s Facebook page.

Officer Stewart graduated from the police academy in May 2016 and Officer McGraw completed the Southwest Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy law enforcement courses in 2020.

Thanks to the quick thinking of Officer Stewart, both officers have now returned to regular duty.