WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — A Colorado mail carrier on his usual route recently delivered more than just mail. He delivered safety to a 6-year-old girl after the child's mother overdosed behind the wheel of a parked car.
"What really caught my attention was hearing a child's voice. There was a child in the backseat that was yelling," said Andrew Russell, a mail carrier with the United States Postal Service.
Russell had been on the job for less than two months, but on July 16, as he completed his route on Fenton Street in Wheat Ridge, he knew something was wrong.
"The closer I got, I heard, 'My mommy's dead!' So I immediately ran over there and dropped my mail in this lady's front yard and made sure the kid was out of the backseat first, and then I checked on the mom —- she was slumped over," Russell said.
Wheat Ridge police tell Denver7 the mother had overdosed on fentanyl.
Russell called 911, and the mother woke up when officers arrived.
In body camera video shared with the Denver7, the mother can be heard admitting to officers she'd ingested the illicit substance.
"It was a fentanyl pill,' the woman said.
In the video, the 6-year-old girl can also be heard describing what she witnessed while sitting in the backseat and who saved her.
"Then the mailman came over there to me," she said.
Kylee Fischer, an Wheat Ridge Police Department officer, responded to the scene and interviewed the 6-year-old child. In a video from Fischer's body-worn camera, the 6-year-old can also be heard also saying, "... my mother wasn't breathing.".
"I'm very grateful that he was there to help the child in the situation so that she had someone there that she could trust," Fischer said.
Wheat Ridge police call the mail carrier a hero, but Russell is humble about his actions.
"I was just in the right place, at the right time. Just doing my job," he said.
The child's mother now faces several criminal charges, including child abuse and possession of a controlled substance.