Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling held an award ceremony Friday for Deputy Karen Hernandez and citizen Christopher Dustman, the two people credited with saving the lives of two pedestrians after a driver struck them.
According to the criminal complaint, a deputy with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department attempted to stop a 2001 Toyota Sequoia because the license plate did not match the vehicle. Isiah DeGroot, 17, of Racine, was later identified as the driver. When he turned left and went northbound on Newman Road, the deputy followed him and activated the emergency siren on her unmarked squad.
DeGroot then made another left into the Kohl’s parking lot and the deputy terminated the pursuit because the parking lot was busy. But DeGroot continued at a high rate of speed before losing control of the vehicle and struck Racine County residents Cheryl L. Coopman, 47, and Jeffery J. Coopman, 53.
Cheryl’s left arm and leg were cut completely off. Jeffery’s leg and pelvis were broken. Hernandez, Dustman, other bystanders, and an officer from the Mount Pleasant Police Department rendered first aid until rescue could arrive.