Local deputy, wife go above and beyond to aid couple involved in recent 1-69 crash

On Friday, Feb. 8, Sgt. Steve Coe and his wife Patti (center) were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty.
On Friday, Feb. 8, Sgt. Steve Coe and his wife Patti (center) were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty. Photo by Andre B. Laird.

When Sgt. Steve Coe responded to an accident on I-69 last month, he could have just written a report and gone home.

Instead, Coe - a deputy with the Huntington County Sheriff's Department - went to great lengths to make sure the couple involved in the accident was taken care of, even calling on his wife Patti for help.
In recognition of those efforts, Sheriff Terry Stoffel presented a department award to Steve and Patti Coe on Friday, Feb. 8.

The crash on I-69 happened on Jan. 12 and involved a couple traveling from Michigan to Florida, Stoffel says.

"Their van was basically ripped in half," he says.

The couple did not suffer serious injuries, but both were taken to Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne, to be checked out. Coe followed them to the hospital to obtain information he needed to complete his report.

"He's done, and they're ready to be released," Stoffel says.

"But the couple had no vehicle and no local connections; their closest relative was a son living in Kansas. Coe didn't want to leave them stranded, so he called on his wife Patti for help."

Patti Coe drove from her home near Roanoke to the hospital, where she picked the couple up and drove them to Markle, where their van had been towed, to retrieve items out of the vehicle. She then drove them to a store to pick up some necessities before taking them to a hotel to spend the night. From there, Stoffel says the couple was able to connect with family.

"They didn't have to do all that for the couple," he adds.

"But they went above and beyond the call of duty to help somebody who isn't even a resident of this county. It just goes to show their heart as a couple and Steve's dedication to his job."

Complete caption: On Friday, Feb. 8, Sgt. Steve Coe and his wife Patti (center) were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty. Coe and his wife assisted a husband and wife who were involved in a motor vehicle accident on I-69 last month. Honoring the couple are Huntington County Sheriff Terry Stoffel (left) and Chief Deputy Chris Newton (right).