Illinois

Troopers Hailed as Heroes in “Miracle on Ice”

It’s being called the “miracle on ice,” after the quick thinking of two Illinois state troopers helped prevent a bad wreck from getting worse.

Just inches separated the Vaughts and the troopers from catastrophe, as instinct took over once a box truck came careening toward them.

“God was watching over us. That is, that is it,” said Peggy Vaught, who was injured in the accident. “He saved all of us that day.”

A frightening moment for a Fairfield couple was captured on police dashcam.

It may have lasted only a few seconds, but it’s something they’ll remember for a lifetime.

“It was about five degrees that day,” remembered Bud Vaught.

“It was one of the coldest mornings we had had. Bless the officers for being in that weather,” Peggy added.

The couple was on their way to a VA appointment November 12th, when they found themselves in a ditch with a blown tire after sliding off the road.

“It was icy that day, and we had talked about turning around and going back,” Bud said.

13-year Illinois State Police veteran Adam Zimmerman, and rookie trooper Jonathan Pflaum–who had only been on the job a few days–stopped to help.

But while their cars stopped, a large truck didn’t.

“We’re trained to always keep our head on a swivel. Especially in inclement weather. So while I was talking to Mrs. Vaught, I was looking over her shoulder into oncoming traffic,” Trooper Zimmerman remembered, “and I noticed the box truck start to lose control.”

The troopers grabbed Bud and Peggy just in the nick of time.

They recovered quickly, with Peggy suffering the worst of the injuries, breaking her arm and suffering a few scratches.

“I had my second there of, ‘ok, I get to see my wife and kid. Now let’s do our job and keep moving,'” Trooper Pflaum shared.

Both the troopers and Vaughts say, they’re just glad they all made it home.

“I got home, and I stated to my children that the incident had occurred. Both their eyes got big. They said, ‘Mom, can we tell him? Dad, we said an extra prayer for you last night. We all got together and said an extra prayer because you’re out there in the weather and we want to make sure you were safe.'”

Safe–but with a recorded reminder for everyone to drive carefully–and move over into the far lane when emergency vehicles are stopped.

And if you can’t move, slow down.

While the Vaughts hail them as their personal heroes, both these troopers say, for them it’s just another day on the job.

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