Patriots’ Wilfork helps to rescue accident victim
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady earned his latest Super Bowl berth, then left Gillette Stadium with his supermodel wife. Patriots coach Bill Belichick probably went straight to the film room.
And it’s best not to ask too many questions about what fun-loving tight end Rob Gronkowski did after New England beat the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in Sunday’s AFC Championship game.
Vince Wilfork, on the other hand, stopped on his way home and rescued a woman from a partially overturned car.
“It wasn’t a big deal,” the 325-pound defensive tackle said Monday. “It’s just seeing somebody that needed help. I helped them.”
State troopers said they responded to an SUV rollover in Foxborough not far from Gillette Stadium shortly before 1 a.m. Monday and were surprised to see Wilfork checking on the driver.
Wilfork reached into the vehicle and helped troopers remove 38-year-old Mary Ellen Brooks of Hanson, authorities said, and made sure police didn’t need any more help before heading home.
Typical Wilfork, teammates said. The 11-year veteran didn’t even tell them about the incident.
‘’It’s not like, ‘Hey, I saved the day,”’ special teams captain Matthew Slater said. “He’s been a pillar here of this franchise, a character guy who really, when you get to know the man, he’s all about giving back.”
Wide receiver Julian Edelman agreed.
“That doesn’t surprise me at all,” he said. “That sounds like something ‘V’ would do.”
Brooks was charged with drunken driving. A phone listing for her couldn’t immediately be found Monday, and it wasn’t clear whether she has a lawyer.
Wilfork said his wife Bianca was in the car with him, and they talked about the incident during their ride home.
“Things are a lot more precious in life than games or anything you accomplish,” he said. “It showed last night. We won the AFC championship. There was a life in danger so we were just happy to help.”
Wilfork’s parents died in 2002; David Sr. at 48 of kidney failure after years of suffering from diabetes, and Barbara at 46 from complications of a stroke. The Patriots drafted Wilfork out of Miami in the first round in 2004.
“I know when we drafted him back over 10 years ago just how quickly he had to grow up and mature, given his situation and how close he is with his family,” Belichick said. “He’s got really high character.”
So stopping to help an accident victim came naturally.
“Through football and the course of life I learned just try to stay poised under certain situations,” Wilfork said. “I told her … ‘Don’t panic. I’ll get you out of here.’
“If I see that a million times, I’d do that a million times.”
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