VINTON – A Benton County Sheriff’s Deputy’s simple act of kindness on Tuesday helped brighten the day of a family of three involved in a minor traffic accident.
Deputy Blake Henkle had been called to a minor accident Tuesday in which a car went into the ditch. The family included a father, mother and young daughter.
“They were in a single vehicle accident that put them in the ditch and stranded,” said Henkle in a Facebook post which is being used with his permission.
“When I arrived on scene I could tell by their body language they were reluctant to have me there. They don’t share the same skin color as me and English was not their first language. I got through the basic gathering of information from them with hesitation from the male.
“I cleaned out a spot in my squad car for the mother and daughter to sit in the A/C, provided them with some water and gave the daughter a stuffed animal from my stash for cases like this. The little girl’s eyes lit up when she got the stuffed toy.
“I helped the father get items from the car and made small talk with them. The tow truck he arranged was a long way from getting there, so I arranged someone else to come stay with them as I knew I couldn’t be tied up for that long.
“When my relief arrived with more cold water and a place to stay out of the heat, I was getting ready to leave. As the family walked towards the other vehicle with their belongings I noticed the father lingering behind and soon he turned around and came back to me.
“He said, ‘You know, there are a lot of crazy things happening in this world today.’ Pointed towards his wife and daughter. ‘I will be sure to raise my daughter to know you Deputy Henkle. You are a fine man, Deputy.’ Then he shook my hand and said, with a small quiver in his voice, ‘Thank you for helping my family.’
“As I drove away it was just setting in on me the positive impact this encounter had on him, on me, when I was dispatched to another accident about nine miles away. I turned around and went past with the emergency lights on as he stood roadside and waved at me.
“I had to stop thinking about them and prepare for the next challenge ahead – just minutes away – that was still an unknown.
“We, (law enforcement) do that every day. You must be prepared for whatever comes your way and things can change in an instant.
I didn’t have time to let it sink in what he had said to me. Tonight after I put my boys in bed, it came back to me.
“I believe I made a difference in that family’s life today. Many others do the same in this profession everyday.
“I just felt I needed to pass on some good.
“It’s up to all of us to be the good. Just do what you know is right and you never know the difference you may be making.”