St. Louis police honor men who saved woman trapped in her car during flooding

One of the good Samaritans — Steven Reeves — may now want to become a policeman.

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The St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners honored two men on Wednesday for their heroic efforts in helping save a woman who became trapped in her sinking car during flooding amid heavy rainfall.

“I didn’t want to drown in that car,” rescued driver Mona Foster told CBS-affiliated television station KMOV. “The water is constantly coming into your car, it gets up to your dashboard and your head is touching the ceiling. I don’t want to die like this.”

Foster, Steven Reeves and DuJuan Bateman reunited with Officer Nathan Phillips on Wednesday at the police precinct, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The reunion occurred the same day of the ceremony that the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners awarded Foster and Bateman a citizens service citation for showing great bravery.

The incident occurred on July 26 while Foster was driving to work as torrential rains hit the St. Louis region. Her car became trapped under water on Lucas and Hunt Road and Jacobi Avenue. Her calls to 911 failed but Reeves saw Foster in the dangerous situation and called 911. He then waded into the waist-deep water and banged on the car windows in an effort to break them. 

According to the KMOV, a call was made to Foster’s family and they sent her son-in-law, Bateman, to her location to rescue her from the floodwaters. “I just took off and really didn’t think about the water or the danger or the current,” Bateman said.

Reeves and Bateman assisted Phillips of the St. Louis County Police Department in pulling Foster to safety. “You never know what’s in the water. Debris, trees, you can’t see the ground underneath you because it’s so muddy. You don’t know what you’re walking on,” Phillips said.

Reeves used his elbow to break the window and Foster climbed out of it to exit her vehicle. “He probably would have been out there alone and couldn’t get the lady out the car fast enough,” Reeves said to KMOV of Phillips.

In August, the police department released footage from Phillips’ body camera showing Foster’s rescue, according to the Post Dispatch. 

“As I watch these videos, I know the end result, I know everyone’s going to be OK, but it’s still very tense viewing to watch this in play,” said Capt. Tim Cunningham, the north county precinct commander, during Wednesday’s ceremony. “And then you start seeing heroic activity, bravery — officers, citizens — and that’s why today is such a special day.”

 Because of Reeves’ heroic act, he is being more thoughtful about a full-time job as a public service official. “I always wanted to be a firefighter but now I feel like I want to be a police officer,” he told KMOV.

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