New Orleans Saints defensive end Mitchell Loewen helped a man escape from an SUV that had plunged from the fourth story of a parking garage.
Loewen was having brunch with his wife and son at the Willa Jean restaurant in New Orleans when, according to the New Orleans Times Picayune, he said he heard an impact that sounded like an explosion. The 25-year-old approached the silver Mercedes-Benz SUV that had been resting on its roof in the street and saw a man screaming in pain.
“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 said, per the newspaper. “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.”
The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Loewen and about 10 others succeeded in flipping the SUV onto its tires while another bystander crawled into the car to check on the man, per the newspaper. That bystander then unlatched a back door so they could speak to the man while emergency workers made their way to the scene.
“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 said. “I couldn’t tell how bad his injuries were, but there was a lot of blood and broken glass.”
The New Orleans Police Department confirmed the SUV drove off the fourth floor of a parking structure “for an unknown reason” around 1:30 p.m. and that the accident remains under investigation. The man, who reportedly appeared to be in his mid-20s, sustained injuries but is expected to survive, police told the New Orleans Times Picayune.
“It was like a movie. I just did what I had to do, and I wasn’t thinking about anything else,” Loewen said.
Loewen signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and played two games last season before going on injured reserve due to a high ankle sprain in September.