Former Nickelodeon star Matthew Underwood's TV show Zoey 101 ended in 2008, and he has not added many acting roles to his résumé since then. However, last week he took on the role of a real-life hero. On Thursday, 26-year-old Underwood ran to the wreckage of a car crash in Port St. Lucie, Florida and managed to rescue a 4-month-old child. The details are trickling in, and here is what we know.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Matthew Underwood was among the first people to the scene of a car crash. The driver, a 34-year-old woman, had passed out from a suspected heroin overdose. The woman's 34-year-old boyfriend sat in the backseat next to their infant child, who was in an unsecured car seat. Underwood saw the family's 2003 white Saturn miss a stop sign. The car veered across six lanes of traffic and crashed into a tree. Underwood pulled over and ran to the car to help. When he saw the parents, he at first thought they were dead. He grabbed the infant from the car and asked his brother, Joshua Underwood, to call 911. Matthew Underwood eventually realized the couple was passed out, so he took a video of the car to have a record of the incident before the police arrived.
In the March 30 police report, the woman admitted that she had purchased heroin and decided to try it for the first time that evening. The police booked the woman for child neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia. The man, on the other hand, faced additional charges. He had a full pill bottle of generic Xanax, a smoking pipe, and a syringe next to him, so the police took him in for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription in addition to child neglect and possession of drug paraphernalia. Plus, he was in violation of a probation warrant, so the police added that charge, too. They turned the infant over to the care of a family member.
Matthew Underwood told the local news that he could not have driven by without stopping to help. He says rehabilitation should be an option for the couple, as well. He also stated he hopes parents want their child and life together back so much that they do what it takes to get clean. Underwood himself had a small brush with the law several years ago, and it sounds like he learned a lot from it.
We are happy that everyone involved in the accident is physically all right, but it still seems like it will take time for them to recover from the terrifying event. As for Mathew Underwood, he should give himself a pat on the back. He saved the life of a child, and that is wonderful in and of itself. There's also the real chance that he saved the lives of the parents by calling the authorities and aiming the couple in the direction of recovery, which is also a bit of a heroic act.