Grand opening of new CHP headquarters includes recognition of life-saving heroes

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Hundreds of people, including law enforcement and local officials, turned out today for the grand opening of the CHP’s new San Diego Headquarters in Kearny Mesa.

But it was “an event within the event” that got most of the attention. By their nature, dedication ceremonies  include lots of remarks from everyone associated with the particular building.

But Friday’s ceremony was highlighted by this:  Five people, a demolition business owner, a San Diego Police Officer, and three Navy sailors, were honored for their heroic and quick-thinking actions in saving the life of a tow truck driver on a local freeway.

What they didn’t know as they were being recognized was that the driver would be there to thank them.  It was back in November. Dennis McNea had suffered a heart attack and had passed out at the wheel of his truck on the 94 freeway.

Alberto Villareal Robles, driving his pickup, saw the tow truck weaving out of control.  He quickly sized-up the emergency and moved his truck in front of McNea’s to slow it down and bring it to a stop.  The four others then stopped to help get McNea out of the vehicle and begin CPR.  Until now, McNea had never met the people who saved his life:

Afterward, McNea told KUSI, “A million thanks.  I got a lottery ticket.  They gave me life.  You could have a million dollars. It doesn’t buy life.  They gave me life.  I wasn’t breathing.  They worked on me for 20 minutes until the paramedics got there.”

There’s more.  And it involves Robles.  McNea added, “The gentleman in the truck, who stopped me, told my company  they didn’t have to pay for fixing his truck. If our world was like this, and we took care of each other.  There’d be no problems.”

For one moment on a San Diego freeway, the world was like that.

Categories: Entertainment, Local San Diego News