Postman pulls woman from crash

Sunday, March 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Postman Chris Purdy takes a new route to work since he delivered a woman to safety.

Purdy, a Tulsa resident who delivers mail in Stillwater six days a week, used to take the Cimarron Turnpike to work, but decided to go a different way Feb. 28.

``Everyone was always telling me that (Oklahoma) 51 would be faster, so I decided to try it,'' Purdy said.

That morning outside of Mannford, Purdy saw a car lose control and roll down an embankment into a ravine. Purdy pulled over, tossed his cell phone to another driver who had stopped and asked them to call for help.

He said the vehicle was sitting in water up to its hood.

``My heart just jumped up when I saw the water,'' Purdy said. ``Then I heard the woman screaming that she was trapped.''

Purdy thought the woman's seat belt was trapping her and told her to unbuckle it. That didn't work. But with a little effort, Purdy was able to pull the woman free.

``The top and the driver's side roof were crushed, but she didn't look like she was hurt,'' he said.

But Purdy didn't get the name or address of the recipient of his special delivery.

``I didn't even think to ask,'' he said. ``The other driver who pulled over to help acted like she knew her and said something about Renee as I started down to the water.''

Once the Mannford Police arrived, Purdy got back into his car and headed for work. After all, neither rain, nor sleet nor saving a life keeps the mail from being delivered.

Mannford authorities didn't file a report because the accident happened out of their jurisdiction. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said it didn't file a report because the woman refused one.

``I didn't believe in divine intervention,'' Purdy said. ``It gives me chills to think it was the first day I ever took that highway and this accident happened. I take 51 everyday now.''