A Wadsworth police officer is being recognized for his efforts in helping two women whose vehicle burst into flames at the side of the road last week. According to the Wadsworth Police Department, it happened on state Route 57 on Jan. 2. Police were initially called to reports of a vehicle driving erratically. Officer Cody Lamielle, who was on routine patrol, spotted the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. The driver, Darlene Richmond, of Copley, told him she was having mechanical difficulties. Lamielle spotted smoke and flames coming from under the hood and was able to get the driver and her elderly mother to safety. “It’s a blessing I’m alive. I have an angel, and maybe I have two at this point. I know I could be dead right now and I don’t want to be dead. I have too much to live for.” Richmond said her 88-year-old mother, Helen Miller, who has Alzheimer’s, was in the passenger seat.
“I mean, she’s alive. I’m not ready to lose her, I know that much,” she said, crediting Lamielle, who she calls an angel. “Everything goes to him because if he wouldn’t have been there, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. I’m willing to admit that I can’t always pick her up; I don’t have enough strength to pick her up, so he did what he had to do, he never lost his cool.” Wadsworth Police Chief Randall Reinke said, “It didn’t surprise me. Cody is a very good young officer, and when I saw it, I was very impressed with how he kept his calm, took the right actions and it’s what I expected from him, and he did a great job. It goes to show you never know what you’re going to encounter, you have to be prepared for any call and rely on your training and good judgment.”