State Trooper Saves Man's Life - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

State Trooper Saves Man's Life

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MORGANTOWN -

Hearing that a West Virginia State Trooper saved a man's life may not surprise you, hearing how he did it might.

Corporal James Baker of the Morgantown Detachment of the West Virginia State Police is being hailed as an guardian angel.

Tuesday, Crpl. Baker was meeting troopers at the Eat 'N' Park on Patteson Drive for lunch. Walking through the restaurant he heard a lady scream and saw a man choking.

Baker saw Ian Coffman, 35, of Vienna, West Virginia turning blue and holding his throat. Because Coffman was in a booth, Baker said he used the edge of the table to help dislodge a piece of food and clear Coffman's airway.

"He was taken back, and gasped for air. I asked him if he was alright several times, he said he was," said Baker. "He thanked me. His wife thanked me, and I went on my day."

Coffman told Baker's lieutenant that Baker was his "Guardian Angel sent from God."

Baker said hearing that sent chills up his spine.

Baker said the Heimlich maneuver is part of basic training for all law enforcement officers, and said that had he not been walking by, that one of the other troopers at the restaurant would have surly intervened and helped Coffman.

Attempts to reach out to Coffman went unsuccessful.