HUNTLEY – Police officer Chuck McGrath didn’t know he would be saving someone’s life when he saw a car veer into oncoming traffic along Route 47 this past summer.
McGrath, a four-year veteran at the Huntley Police Department, was traveling south along Route 47 near Regency Parkway in Huntley around 7 a.m. July 20 when a small, red SUV crossed the median into the southbound lanes.
The 22-year-old driver turned his car around, exited Route 47 and pulled his car to the side of Regency Parkway. The driver immediately got out, clutched his chest and fell to the ground moments later, losing consciousness.
“After talking to the medical personnel who worked on this young man for a couple of days at the hospital, they directly attributed it to Officer McGrath’s actions in saving his life,” said Police Chief John Perkins.
Witnessing the car veer into traffic, McGrath followed the driver to Regency Parkway. The unidentified male told McGrath before losing consciousness that he had been stung by a bee and that he was allergic to the insects.
After the driver collapsed to the ground, McGrath performed rescue breaths until the paramedics arrived.
The lifesaving incident was captured by a video camera located on the dashboard of McGrath’s squad car.
Village board members shared the video during a meeting Thursday, before Perkins handed McGrath the department’s Lifesaving Award.
Eight Huntley officers have previously received the honor since the department started the program in 2007. On Thursday, board members and village staff gave McGrath a standing ovation.
“When you see this video, it really hits home on what these guys and girls do and what a great department we really do have,” said Village President Chuck Sass. “I’m actually tearing up talking about it.”