Caught on camera: Marion Co. deputy saves woman choking in Salem restaurant

Image from surveillance video at DeDe's Deli in Salem (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

A Marion County deputy investigating a hit-and-run crash ended up saving a woman who was choking inside a Salem restaurant.

The ordeal was caught on camera by the restaurant’s surveillance system.

Deputy Gregg Ramseyer went into DeDe’s Deli, 132 Lancaster Drive Southeast, the evening of Dec. 21. The deputy was hoping the restaurant’s security camera in the parking lot had captured a nearby hit-and-run crash.

Angelica Sandoval, an employee of the restaurant, began to choke on a potato chip before she could offer to help the deputy. Another employee attempted the Heimlich maneuver and swept her co-worker’s mouth with her finger.

Ramseyer radioed for paramedics to respond to the scene. He recognized that Sandoval’s condition was not improving and she was turning blue. Ramseyer took over for the other employee and performed several cycles of the Heimlich maneuver.

"That is when he came around the corner and he came and saved my life," said Sandoval. "He did that and I was able to take my first breath."

Ramseyer cleared the obstruction and Sandoval was able to breathe normally again.

"He is a hero," she said.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office also addressed the work of the deputy.

"Each day I am amazed with our deputy sheriff's dedication to the safety of our visitors and residents. We could not be more proud of Deputy Ramseyer and his ability to recognize an emergency and take life saving action,” said Commander Eric Hlad.

For her part, Sandoval said she doesn't plan on eating chips ever again.

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