Off-duty Anne Arundel County park ranger jumps into action to rescue crash victims

We’re in the middle of a pandemic and everyone is supposed to stay socially distant, but a couple of Anne Arundel County crash victims are very happy one off-duty park ranger did not.

It’s because last Friday night, as Anne Arundel County Park Ranger Shelley Toole was driving home from work in pouring rain, she happened to come upon a crash. A car and a U.S. Postal Service tractor trailer had just collided on I-97 near Brightview Drive, she said. So Toole pulled over, thought about staying socially distant, but ultimately decided to act.

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“I just kept thinking about the fact that there’s two guys there that aren’t able to get out by themselves, there’s diesel leaking out to the ground, there’s diesel leaking onto this engine, it seemed like a bigger risk to let them stay there,” Toole says now.

So she went in, helping the injured drivers to safety, one at a time, just as first responders arrived.

“We were scrambling trying to get out because it was just muddy and there were all of these trees that were down, all of these vines that were down,” she explained while back at the crash site one week later.

And believe it or not, there’s still one more crazy turn of events to go. Turns out, Toole lost her engagement ring during the rescue.

“I remember when it happened because my hand kind of got tugged,” she said.

The good news? Toole was wearing a backup ring, not the real one her fiancé Kelly had given her, which she’d decided not to wear to work.

“That ring means a lot to me,” Toole said. “My fiancé did a really good job picking it out and actually having it made, so I’m pretty glad I was wearing the silicone one.”

For the record, Toole’s wedding is scheduled for July.