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Cardinals DC James Bettcher, wife Erica honored for freeing child trapped under car

The city of Chandler honored Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher and his wife Erica with the “Lifesaver Award” for helping free a boy trapped under a car in mid-February.

A boy was hit and run over by a vehicle while riding his bike to school but became trapped under the car after it stopped.

Erica Bettcher jumped out of the car to stop it and began keeping the boy calm while holding his head. Within moments, the Arizona defensive coordinator and another bystander began jacking up the car to pull the boy out from under it, said Chandler Fire Department spokesman Blas Minor.

“Before I had the car in park, my wife was running out of the car, running out of our car heading to the car that had struck the young man trying to get them to stop. I’m not sure that they even realized what had happened, it happened so fast,” Bettcher told the Cardinals’ website.

“We really had a great 911 operator that directed us, everything to do and things to check on the young man. Those men and women behind the scenes … for me, that’s what it represented. For me, that’s what it’s all about.”

Minor said Bettcher was at first reluctant to be recognized for helping the boy.

He was eventually convinced to attend a city meeting where he and his wife were honored.

“As I expressed to Coach Bettcher, if we don’t recognize our community members like he and his wife, and the others that helped that day, no one’s going to really know the kind of citizens we have in our community,” Minor said. “He understood that.

“Hopefully, through these types of stories and events that happen, people can kind of step up the next time they see someone in need.”

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