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Woman says Soper ambulance theft cost husband his life

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 6:28 PM CST
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SOPER, Okla. (KXII) - A woman lost her husband after a man stole an ambulance from in front of their Soper home as medics worked inside to save him Sunday night. Why she believes a ride in the ambulance meant the difference between life and death for him.

Medics were inside this Soper home treating Delbert Hedrick for chest pain. When they came out here to rush him to the hospital, the ambulance was gone.

“We followed him out and they stopped right there and I said, ‘what’s going on?’ and they said that the ambulance was stolen,” said Becky Hedrick, Delbert’s wife.

Becky and Delbert had been married for almost 13 years and have 7 kids and 8 grandkids. She says he was her rock, true love and best friend.

She tried to get him to the hospital herself.

“He said, ‘I’m in so much pain I don’t think I’m gonna make it.’ And he just went limp,” said Hedrick.

But he went unresponsive just 2 miles away from the hospital.

“If the ambulance was here that he could have been saved. That he would’ve had maybe went to the hospital maybe had to have emergency surgery maybe he would’ve had something, but they would’ve had everything they needed in that ambulance,” said Hedrick.

Delbert was a drug and alcohol mental health counselor. Just the day before his death, he held a suicide prevention seminar in the community.

“He’s helped people get clean and sober, he’s helped them find jobs, he’s helped change their lives,” said Hedrick.

They moved to Soper a year ago and call the community friendly and refreshing.

“We would just drive down the street and he’d honk at people just to see them wave and I’m like ‘did you know them?’ and he’s like ‘no I just wanted to see them wave at me,’” said Hedrick.

She says he loved his community, his family and his faith.

“I know he’s in heaven with our kids and family that we have up there and they’re all waiting for him in open arms,” said Hedrick.

Now they wait to see justice.

“I just want him to realize the severity of what he’s done to our family,” said Hedrick.

The man who stole the ambulance remains at large, but Sheriff Terry Park says OSBI has leads they’re currently following. Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to contact the Choctaw County Sheriff’s Office at (580) 326-2130.

The family says Delbert was the main provider of the household, and that any donations from the community for funeral expenses and burial would help with his unexpected death. They’re asking that any assistance is sent to Becky Hedrick at PO Box 274 Soper, OK 74759.

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