Roman: Driver of crashed car was no sweetheart, but he was prepared for Feb. 14


On Valentine’s Day weekend, I responded to an injury traffic collision where a guy and his girlfriend slammed into a parked car after he claimed a dog ran out in front of him.

He injured his foot and refused medical aid, but his girlfriend was transported to the hospital by ambulance.

He wasn’t a particularly nice guy, but of course that changed when he needed something.

After the car was up on the flatbed tow truck the driver asked, “Can I get my backpack from the car?”

I looked at the tow-truck driver and asked, “Can you get his backpack for him?”

The tow-truck driver climbed up onto the flatbed truck and opened the car door. He reached inside and grabbed a backpack. I then handed it to the driver.

As I turned to walk away the driver said, “Can you get the teddy bear, too?”

With a raised eyebrow I asked, “A teddy bear?”


With a funny look on my face I turned toward the tow-truck driver and asked, “Can you get his teddy bear?”

The tow-truck guy returned the funny look and dug into the car to retrieve Teddy, which he handed to me.

Once Teddy was safe I handed it to the driver, who said, “And the flowers, too?”

“The flowers?”

The driver nodded at me. This guy was getting needy.

I turned toward the tow-truck guy one more time and asked him to get the flowers.

He gave me the same funny look and went back inside the car.

It’s not every day someone asks for a teddy bear from a crashed car, but it was Valentine’s Day weekend, after all.

I’m sure there were lots of cars driving around with teddy bears and flowers that night. The only difference was this particular teddy bear got the ride of his life.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Editor’s Note: John Roman is a traffic officer for an Orange County police agency who writes a blog, Badge 415 ( His posts focus on the human side of police work and safety tips. Roman, a cop for more than 20 years, has handled more than 5,000 accidents as a collision investigator. shares some of his columns.