MEDFORD, Ore. — Two young men rescued a girl walking in the middle of the road on Interstate 5. Cody Engler and Patrick Verdun were coming back from lacrosse practice when they noticed the young girl.
“It seemed like a kid kinda just playing; walking down in the middle of the road; someone who obviously needed help,” said Verdun.
But no one stopped to help.
“She was walking straight down the dotted lines on I-5 northbound towards traffic,” said Verdun.
“That’s the thing. I was blown away, no one was stopping. We talked to some people later who actually saw her and kept going and came up with some excuse. Like, ‘Oh, she’s probably on drugs or something,’” said Engler.
The young men pulled over on the side of the freeway and stopped oncoming traffic to help the young girl get to safety.
“It seems pretty apparent that the needed some higher level of care to some degree and it’s hard to see somebody that’s not getting what they need and being put in such danger,” said Engler.
Soon after, another woman, a mother with her own kids in the car, also stopped to help. Oregon State Police said that woman met up with troopers off Exit 14. Troopers have dealt with this young girl’s family before and say she is autistic.
“Autism is a spectrum,” explained Families for Community executive director, Emilie Sampson. “So, I mean it could have been a number of things. It could have been not wanting to be where she is, it could have been having somewhere else she wanted to be. I don’t think that it was wandering for wandering sake.”
For Cody and Patrick, it doesn’t matter what was wrong, but say they were glad to be there and help.
“There’s a human being walking down the road. If I was walking down the freeway against oncoming traffic, I would hope somebody should stop for me as well,” said Verdun.