"I looked back and he took off leaving the child there, so I flipped a U-turn in the grass to get to the baby," says Luke Dufrene whose quick action saved the child.
Trigger warning: The story contains details of physical abuse that might be distressing to some readers.
Sometimes, miracles take place in our daily lives and we aren't always in a position to realize that. One good samaritan helped out a woman and her baby, who were stranded in the middle of the road, abandoned by a man who hurt the woman.
23-year-old Luke Dufrene saw the disturbing visual while going to work recently. The Lockport, Louisiana man said he saw the driver of a vehicle "dropping a baby off" on the median of a highway, as per USA Today. "I looked back and he took off leaving the child there, so I flipped a U-turn in the grass to get to the baby," said Luke.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Dillon Terrebonne, 27, who is now facing charges of domestic abuse with child endangerment and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Dillon had assaulted the baby’s mother before abandoning the baby on U.S. Highway 90 in Raceland, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Capt. Brennan Matherne, the public information officer for the sheriff's office, said that the "very busy" highway is the "only U.S. Highway that passes through our Parish" with a speed limit of 65 mph, according to Oxygen.com. "It would be dangerous for even an adult pedestrian walking along the highway, let alone a small child," he said.
That day turned out to be harrowing for the child's mother and the child. Authorities learned that on February 25, the woman and her infant were in the car with Dillon, who was driving her SUV. Their relationship is not known. The duo had an argument and the 27-year-old stopped the SUV, got out of the car, and walked to the passenger seat, where the woman was sitting.
Then he hit her on the head and started strangling her, the police said. The woman was able to escape the vehicle and his attacks. However, the man then went back into the car and drove away with the victim's child, said the police, as per USA Today. After almost a mile, he stopped the car and detached the baby's car seat from the back seat. He then placed the car seat on the road's shoulder and drove off.
At this moment, Luke saw what Dillon did and decided to intervene. "I pulled into the median and put my truck in front of the child because I knew how dangerous this highway was,” Luke said. "And when I was pulling up, two women were approaching. One was a witness and the other was the mother," he added.
The 23-year-old mother said that "she was out of breath from running." He added, "I stayed with them while the lady called 911 and gave the description of the vehicle. I stayed the latest I could to make sure everything was under control.”
"I was running down the highway as fast as I could, but thank God witnesses seen and got to him before I could," the mother said. "It took all day to locate (Terrebonne). He went back to his hometown in Abbeville and was caught and arrested there. The man that seen what happened pulled off on the side the road right away and got to my baby. Then I got to my baby a couple seconds after," she said.
Luke doesn't think of himself as a hero for coming to the aid of the mother and her child. "I never been in them shoes before, but I just knew I had to act fast for that child,” he said. “And I can’t help but appreciate the kind words everyone is giving me, but I just feel like I did what any good human would do," he added.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Crezalyn Nerona Uratsuji