Saints defensive end Mitchell Loewen was eating brunch with his wife and son on Sunday afternoon in downtown New Orleans when he suddenly heard what sounded like a “bomb or an earthquake.”
Loewen and others quickly ran outside and found a silver SUV lying upside down in the middle of the street. It had just plummeted from the fourth floor of a nearby parking garage.
Amid the chaos, Loewen jumped into action. He helped lead a crowd of bystanders to help free the man who was trapped in his car, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, potentially saving his life.
“There were a bunch of people standing around, but not approaching the car and I was like ‘What’s up, let’s help this guy,'” Loewen told the Times-Picayune. “I mean, obviously there was someone in there, I wasn’t going to just stand by and watch. It was a life or death situation.”
Loewen said that the driver, who was alone in the car, had his legs pinned and was completely stuck in the front passenger seat. He quickly realized he wouldn’t be able to drag the man out, so he gathered about 10 other people and got the car flipped upright with the man inside.
Loewen then ripped the door off its hinges and started speaking with the man, who they helped “sit up comfortably” while waiting for paramedics to arrive.
“He didn’t say much, he was just thanking us all. I hugged him and told him he was going to be OK, and then I prayed with him,” Loewen told the Times-Picayune. “I couldn’t tell how bad his injuries were, but there was a lot of blood and broken glass.”
The crash is still currently under investigation by the New Orleans Police Department, though the man is expected to survive.
Loewen, who played five different positions for Arkansas from 2012-2015, signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He played in just two games last season before going on injured reserve.
The 25-year-old, though, never got the man’s name or information — but he said he hopes to officially meet him soon.
“It was like a movie. I just did what I had to do, and I wasn’t thinking about anything else,” he told the Times-Picayune.
“I just want to meet the guy and talk to him. I’m still in awe and can’t stop thinking about him and praying that he’s all right.”
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