Wagoner County Deputy Saves Woman's Life Off Highway

Deputies say they got a call about two sisters having an argument. When they got to Highway 72 near the Arkansas River, they found a woman walking on the side of the road.

Wednesday, December 6th 2023, 6:40 pm

By: Cal Day


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A Wagoner County deputy is being called a hero after his quick actions likely saved a woman’s life. The sheriff says the woman was suffering from a mental health crisis when she cut her arm.

Deputies say they got a call about two sisters having an argument. When they got to Highway 72 near the Arkansas River, they found a woman walking on the side of the road.

“I started noticing her arm is just red,” said Deputy Jonathan Villavicencio, Wagoner County. “She does have a cut.”

Villavicencio says the cut was extremely deep and blood was pouring out of the woman’s arm.

“The first thing in my head was tourniquet,” said Villavicencio.

Sheriff Chris Elliott says the woman was experiencing a mental health crisis. The quick actions of the first responders to stop the bleeding likely saved her life.

“Had we not found her, had we not got out there, I do believe she would have bled to death before somebody would have found her,” said Elliott.

Elliott says the holiday season tends to lead to an increase in mental health-related calls. In these situations, he wants people to know resources are available and deputies are ready to help.

“She’s not in trouble. We didn’t file any charges on her or anything like that,” said Elliott. “She was just in crisis and that’s not uncommon. We’re here to help those people when they go into crisis if they’ll just call us.”

While this was Villavicencio’s first time to use the tourniquet, he knows it likely won’t be the last. He credits his training for his quick response.

“I am grateful I saved her life if I did,” said Villavicencio. “I’m just really happy that she gets to live to see another day.”

Deputies say the woman was taken to a hospital to get her injury treated, then taken to a mental health facility to get help with her crisis. Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis can call 9-8-8.

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