Off-duty Auburn officer saves a young mom pinned in horrific crash

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News 3 Evening Edition

LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – A Beauregard mother, who survived a horrific crash along Alabama 51, reached out to News 3 for help finding the hunter who literally ran to her rescue. As News 3 discovered, this hero hunter also wears an Auburn Police Division uniform.

The last time Alexandria Ford saw Auburn Police Officer Seth Belcher, he was dressed in hunting gear and holding her hand while Ford was pinned in her vehicle.  Friday, February 8th,  Ford ran off the road and slammed into a tree in a wooded area along Alabama 51 in Beauregard. Ford’s five-year-old son was in the back. She was taking him to school when the crash happened.

“I don’t remember how I lost control, I just remember trying to correct and then boom,  there comes the tree,” said Ford.

Officer Belcher tells News 3 he decided to take a vacation day that Friday. He had some family coming into town and wanted to get to a deer stand early to hunt.

“I was sitting in the woods, and I heard a loud screech and then a boom. All I could think is I have to get there fast.  So, I jumped down and took off running got on my ATV and came out on the road.  I saw the accident, and I couldn’t find my phone, so I flagged a car down and had them call 911,” recalled Officer Belcher.

Ford was pinned in her car, unable to move. The young mother was terrified, bleeding and unable to breathe.

“I remember asking him to hold my hand because I was scared and he did. I know holding his hand calmed me down and helped relax. It was just comforting,” said Ford.

Officer Belcher remembers Ford was bleeding badly from the head and she kept saying she couldn’t breathe. He also remembers seeing her young son in the back seat.

“I saw a child in the back, and I wanted to get him out of the car and check him over. He was talking to me and seemed to be fine, and I just wanted him to get away from what was happening inside the car,” said Officer Belcher.

Belcher remembers calling his dad, a retired volunteer firefighter, to come to the scene and help.  Belcher was by Ford’s side as first responders used the “Jaws of Life”  to free Ford from her vehicle.

Ford was air-lifted to Piedmont Columbus Regional with a head injury, broken ribs, and lacerated spleen.

“He’s a blessing. He really is, I thank God he was there cause no telling what shape I would have been in or how long I would have been there by myself. I thank God for him, I really do,” she cried.

Belcher believes he was placed in that hunting stand for a reason, too.

“Something told me to take a vacation day, so I did.  I had a couple places I could have hunted, but I decided to choose that stand, and it allowed me to be there to take care of her,” Officer Belcher said.

When News 3 posted a short description of Ford’s crash, she reached out WRBL asking for help finding the hunter who saved her.  It took News 3 most of a day to track Belcher down, because other than his family, Belcher didn’t tell anybody how he’d helped the young woman and her son.

Chief Register tells News 3 Officer Belcher is an excellent officer, with deep roots in public service. Belcher’s mother was a 911 operator in Auburn for years. Belcher’s father worked as a Volunteer Firefighter.

Monday, on his day off, Officer Belcher rode to Columbus to visit with Ford at the hospital.

“It makes me feel good. I work a lot of accidents where people have to go to the hospital, and this is the first time I’ve been able to do a follow-up and got to meet someone after the fact.  It feels good. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Officer Belcher.

Ford says her brother was killed in a head-on collision just two months ago. She says his sudden death was devastating for her family and makes them even more thankful she survived her crash. Ford was discharged today after spending nearly six days at Piedmont Columbus Regional.  Thankfully, her son was not injured.

News 3 wishes Ford a speedy recovery. Thank you, Officer Belcher and all first responders who helped Ford and her son the day of the crash.  

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