Turlock Police officer comforts distraught woman after colliding with pedestrian Thursday afternoon

On Thursday, September 16th, 2021, at 1:20 pm, the Turlock Police Department, Turlock Fire Department, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries at the intersection of N Thor St and E Main St, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they found a single vehicle involved, which was a black Lincoln SUV.

The driver and passenger of the vehicle were both uninjured. The vehicle had collided with a pedestrian, who suffered minor injuries and was ground transported by American Medical Response to a local hospital.

The vehicle sustained no damage and was able to be driven away from the scene.

It is currently unknown how the collision occurred.

The driver of the vehicle, an elderly Assyrian woman, did not know much about the legal system and thought that she was going to go to jail for striking the pedestrian. Because of this, she was very distraught and couldn’t stop crying. Officer Paul Heppner, an 18-year veteran of the Turlock Police Department, who has received many awards and recognitions throughout his career, assured her that that wouldn’t happen and comforted her by hugging her for over a minute and speaking to her.

A photo of Heppner hugging the woman was shared in the Turlock Police Scanner Facebook group, which gained almost a thousand reactions and 159 comments in just under a day. One of the commenters, a former officer with the Turlock Police Department stated, “Heppner is one of a kind. We need more Heppner in this world.” Another commenter stated, “He is truly an amazing person. I still remember he comforted my son when he started crying because his stuff got stolen after a break in at our home. It’s been over 10 years since then. Glad to see he hasn’t changed.”

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