Chicago (CBS) — At the toll booth, for at least a moment, everything comes to a complete stop.
But just 20 minutes into his shift, Indiana State Trooper Ala’a Hamed had just seconds to save a life at the West Point Toll Plaza in Hammond.
“I observed a silver Buick SUV,” Hamed said. “It was diagonal in the lane pinned up against the toll both and there was an unresponsive female in between the toll both and the driver’s side of the vehicle.”
A 40-year-old woman was pinned as she tried to pay for the toll. State police said she dropped her credit card and left the car in drive while retrieving it.
“Initially, I checked for a pulse to see what was there,” Hamed said. “I did not find one.”
With the help of strangers, the fourth year trooper literally jumped into action.
“I climbed into the vehicle from the passenger side,” Hamed said. “I got in the driver’s seat. I slowly moved the vehicle as they were holding her, so she wouldn’t fall and sustain further injuries.”
With no pulse, Hamed’s training kicked in. He grabbed his defibrillator.
Using chest compressions and CPR, Hamed finally found a tiny pulse.
“When you get in these situations where it works, it’s something you’ll never forget,” Hamed said. “It’s a very rewarding experience.”
The woman, who’s from Michigan, was airlifted from Franciscan Health Hospital in Hammond to a hospital outside of Chicago. She is expected to be ok thanks to the trooper who refused to waste a second.
“For me to actually have a successful AED deployment, to bring somebody back, it’s definitely a good feeling,” Hamed said.