Most people would expect to receive a ticket when they get pulled over for speeding. But for one woman in Illinois, not only did she not get a ticket, she received a card from the sheriff’s deputy one week later.
In December 2015, Gina Headen of Belleville was being pulled over for going 65 mph in a 55 mph zone. When she handed over her license and registration to Deputy Dan Hill of the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, she was thinking about her late father, who had died a month earlier, and wondered what he would have said.
“Boy would my dad be disappointed in me,” Headen told TODAY. “He never sped and would think it was pretty stupid of me to be spending money on a ticket.”
But when Deputy Hill returned, Headen was taken aback by what he told her.
He told her: “Today’s your lucky day, we were born on the same day and year. Slow down and have a good day.”
“I was shocked and thought my dad was probably sitting next to him in his patrol car telling him to cut me a break because I was going through too much,” Headen said.
Headen thanked him, and when he walked away, she recalled on her Facebook page that she “broke down and started crying.”
Headen thought that Hill had already walked back to his car but was surprised when he tapped on her window to ask if she was fine.
“I told him why I was crying and he told me to take a deep breath and we spoke about my dad for a few minutes,” Headen said. “He said that my dad must’ve been a wonderful man and then I told him how much I miss him.”
After their brief conversation, Headen wrote that Hill “helped me back into traffic.”
Most people would likely not give a second thought on the incident, but for Hill, he didn’t forget about Headen and mailed her a condolence card one week later.
He wrote: “My condolence on the loss of your father. I’m sure he was a great man who loved his family. I pray that your tears of sadness becomes tears of joy in remembering his legacy.”
Headen couldn’t believe that Hill remembered her.
“I was shocked that he was thinking about me a whole week later,” Headen said. “He must be an angel.”
Headen and Hill later met again in the presence of local news network KMOV. Headen learned from Hill’s family that the deputy had gone through a tough time in losing his grandfather, so Headen gave Hill an ornament to remember his grandfather with.
Hill said that he and his co-workers actually do such kind things every day.
“We are not just here to send people to jail, write tickets,” he explained. “We help when we can.”