VBPD officers help man with cancer after car breaks down in hot temps

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Allen Nichols has spent the past five years battling stage 4 cancer. First head and neck cancer, then lung cancer in 2018.

“I just went numb for a long time,” said Allen Nichols.

The chemotherapy has taken a toll on his body, but he takes everything day by day.

However, when life’s surprises pop up, like a car breakdown on Monday — it’s not as easy to deal with.

“I pulled over in the left turn lane,” Allen Nichols said.

Stranded on Witchduck Road in 90-degree weather, he called his wife Mitzi Nichols for help.

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“I called I don’t know how many tow truck drivers. They all said the same thing. ‘It’s going to be an hour and a half. Maybe two before we could get to him,'” said Mitzi Nichols.

That was two hours too long. Allen Nichols says nausea already started to set in.

“I was thinking ‘Oh boy this is going to be a rough afternoon because this is something my body can’t take,'” said Allen Nichols.

In a last-ditch effort, his wife called the Virginia Beach Police Department’s non-emergency number.

“It was not quite life or death but the longer he sits there, it could become a serious situation,” Mitzi Nichols explained.

Within 10 minutes, Allen Nichols says an officer had him in the back seat of his car with some water and the air conditioner blowing strong.

“Oh man it was like waking up all over again that day. It felt so good. I just sat there and soaked it up,” said Allen Nichols.

As if that wasn’t enough relief, the responding officer called for backup in the form of community service officer Chuck Reich.

A few minutes later, the tow truck arrived, and Allen Nichols was able to hop in and make it home in record time.

Reich, who’s been helping community members for 15 years, says he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.

“All I did was do my job I do every day,” said Reich.

 Allen and Mitzi Nichols don’t see it that way. They have dubbed him a hero.

“I could not thank you enough. He blessed my afternoon,” said Allen Nichols.

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