TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Taylorsville family has the quick actions of two local police officers to thank for saving their 17-year-old daughter last month.
The morning of Wednesday, December 9th started out as usual for Taylorsville High senior Sarah Canepari. She got in her car to head to school but doesn’t remember anything after that.
Sarah was driving when a sudden seizure caused her to blackout and slump over the steering wheel, drifting into oncoming traffic on 5400 South.
Fortunately for her, Unified Police Officer Jesse Allen and off-duty Murray Police Sergeant Jason Coons just happened to be at that same intersection.
Sgt. Coons’ dashboard camera was recording.
“I pulled my car up next to theirs to kind of bump into it to attempt to get it to stop or at least slow down,” Sgt. Coons explained. “Unfortunately, that didn’t work. It was unsuccessful. The Unified Police officer then pulled up in front of it to kind of do the same thing…We were able to get it stopped up on a grass berm on a sidewalk and run up to the car and were able to see that there was a young female driver that appeared to be having a seizure.”
Officer Allen and Sgt. Coons broke a window to get into the locked car and give Sarah first aid until paramedics arrived.
“I feel very lucky and blessed that they were there to save me,” Sarah told Behind The Badge. “I don’t know if I would have been in the condition that I’m in if they hadn’t saved me.”
Her mother, Kelli Canepari, choked back tears when talking about the two officers.
“The hardest thing was not being able to give them a huge hug and tell them ‘Thank you so much’ for what they did for my daughter,” “Kelli said. “What a blessing it was. Really a miracle. What a miracle it was that Officer Allen was in the right place at the right time. It’s still amazing to me that he was able to see into her car and to immediately recognize that she was having a seizure and then jump right into action and knew exactly what to do.”
“So much of this profession is just that, being in the right place at the right time,” Sgt. Coons said. “So I was happy to be there in that position to be able to help her as best we could.”
Thanks to their quick bumper-cars intervention, Sarah turned out to be O.K.
“I’d like to say ‘Thank you’ for what they did for me,” Sarah said. “Thank them for being able to be aware and doing their job very well to be able to see me in the car especially in that situation…I really appreciate them and would like to thank them for I guess saving my life.”
Sgt. Coons says incidents like this are why people go into law enforcement.
“Any officer put in that position I’m confident would have done the same thing to help that young lady,” Sgt. Coons said. “We were lucky to be there and stop anything, potential dangers that could have happened.”
Sarah and her parents say she has not had any seizures since that morning. She tells ABC4 that after graduation in May she plans to continue her education as an art major at BYU-Idaho where she wants to learn how to animate children’s movies and TV shows. If she ever needs superhero characters, she’s got two of them for inspiration.