FOXBORO (CBS) — Just hours after helping lead the New England Patriots to a Super Bowl, defensive star Vince Wilfork performed some heroics off the field.
Massachusetts State Police said that at 12:45 a.m. Monday, troopers responded to a rollover on Route 1 in Foxboro. There they found Wilfork checking on the driver of a 2015 Jeep Wrangler that had rolled on its side.
The driver, 38-year-old Mary Ellen Brooks of Hanson, who would later be charged with drunken driving, couldn’t get out of the vehicle, police said. That’s when the defensive tackle offered her a hand.
“Trooper Kenneth Proulx stated that he held the driver’s door of the vehicle open, and Vince Wilfork reached in and helped lift the operator out of the vehicle with one hand,” police said in a statement. “Mr. Wilfork departed after ensuring the troopers didn’t need any further assistance.”
Troopers say Brooks was not aware that Wilfork was the person who pulled her out of the vehicle.
Wilfork downplayed his heroics on Monday.
“It wasn’t a big deal,” Wilfork said. “It was just seeing someone in need of help and helping.”
“Through football and the course of life I’ve learned to stay poised in certain situations and I’m pretty sure she was kind of scared,” Wilfork said. “So the last thing I wanted to do is have her panic and that’s the first thing I told her, I said ‘don’t panic, I’ll get you out of here.’”
Once Wilfork made sure Brooks was safe, he took off. But that’s when State Police say they discovered Brooks had been drinking. She was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick says Wilfork has “a lot of character and a lot of integrity,” and he is not surprised to hear his defensive captain stopped to help.
“That’s really the type of person that he is,” Belichick said on a conference call Monday. “He’s got really high character. There’s really good leadership and chemistry on our team, people kind of gravitate toward him and [his wife] Bianca. He does a lot behind the scenes.”
“He does it for the right reasons, not for some kind of personal gain,” Belichick added. “It’s the right thing to do. So he’s got a lot of integrity.”
Brooks suffered only minor injuries in the crash.
“My job right then and there was to help the person in the car,” Wilfork said, referring to Belichick’s motto.
Watch: Wilfork Talks About Rescue: