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Salute our Heroes: Jackson Co. Deputy saves man trapped under car

Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 9:00 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Jackson County deputy is being hailed as a hero for his life-saving efforts to rescue a man trapped under a car.

In the evening of Saturday, July 18th Marvin Cummings Sr. did what he’s done a million times, and got underneath his sons car to change the oil.

He said, “We put a block under the back wheel, jacked it up with a scissor jack, the scissor jack broke because the car shifted when I tried to loosen the oil plug and it fell on me.”

Jackson County deputy Chad Ballenger said dispatch called for EMS, but he was nearby and wanted to help.

“It was paged out as a guy was trapped under his car,” he said, “I figured I would go see what I could do, see if I could help at all.”

The frantic scene is one Ballenger has witnessed many times within his own family, but this was different.

“We’ve been on the farm doing odd end stuff and jacks fall all the time, but nothing where it’s someone we didn’t know and they were completely trapped and there was nothing they could do.”

Cummings said, “I heard my kids say ‘I just killed my father’...it was crazy.”

His son was trying to get the jack up, but every time he tried to turn the handle it kept falling, kept moving, kept moving,” Ballenger continued saying, “The guy that was trapped, he wasn’t talking very well, you could tell he couldn’t breathe very well and all you could see was his legs moving a little bit.”

Ballenger found another jack and used it to lift the car off of Cummings. He was stuck underneath for a total of five minutes.

Cummings said, “I was pretty sure I was probably going to die there.”

Jackson County Sheriff Tim Morse said he is proud to have deputies like Ballenger serving the community.

“He handled that situation perfectly,” Morse said, “He brought a sense of calmness and was able to direct bystanders there to help. In a tragic situation they become frantic or panic and he helped resolve that situation and actually helped save a life.”

Ballenger said he was just doing his job.

“If anybody else was in that situation I believe they would have done the same thing,” he said.

Cummings said he is thankful Ballenger answered the call and that he is still here today with his family.

“The action of everybody involved, getting me to the hospital and everything, kept it from getting any worse than what it was,” he said.

Cummings suffered bruising of his ribs and lungs, but was able to be released from the hospital the following day.

He immediately called deputy Ballenger to thank him for saving his life.

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