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'We like to help people': Cop, nurse glad they were in right spot to help crash victims

Photo: Washington State Patrol

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- An off-duty Lakewood police officer and his nurse wife are glad they could be at the right place at the right time to help a family from France at a fiery crash scene.

The driver admitted he just drifted off to sleep as they drove on Highway 101 east of Sequim, went off the road, and ended up skidding, going end-over end.

The car then burst into flames.

Luckily, all four managed to get out of the car safely.

Jeff and Nancy Hall came up on the crash just after it happened.

"We were on a motorcycle ride out to Port Angeles," he said. "She being a registered nurse ran to the patients and I started working on scene control."

Nancy said as the family was crawling out of the wreckage, the father actually tried something dangerous.

"Then the dad tried to go back and Jeff wouldn't let him go in," she said.

"He wanted to crawl into the burning car," Jeff said, adding he kept telling him "no", which worked well in any language.

The family lost everything in the fire except their passports and credit cards. But passersby came to the rescue.

"It was very encouraging to me to see this couple walk out of their RV," said Nancy, "because we had traffic stopped in both directions and these were just people on their weekend getaways and they walked out with clothes."

Then came shoes, and people all along the scene wanted to help -- including a ride to the ferry terminal.

"To be in a foreign country and on holiday and then just to have everything go up. It was just... got me a little verklempt," said Nancy.

This all happened as the Halls were just glad their motorcycle ride took them where it did.

"I'm really thankful that off-duty Lakewood PD officer and his wife did stop and help," said WSP trooper Jake Kennett. "Because who knows what might have happened if they hadn't."

"It was really just great," said Nancy. "We did what we did because we like to help people."

Since the couple didn't speak much English, another trooper called and arranged a new rental car that was waiting for them on the other side of the water so they could continue their travels through America and Canada.

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