LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One picture now represents a snapshot of a day when an officer made an impact well beyond her badge.
"It was two people really making a bond," Shannon Sullivan told WAVE 3 News.
Sullivan said three years ago she was stuck in an Uber with two men inside. She was heading to a first date after a brutal divorce.
She said the driver was speeding and driving erratically and locked her inside of the car.
"All I kept thinking about was I am not going to be here for my children," she recalled.
Finally, after going through a barricade being set up for Thunder Over Louisville, they came to a stop. Sullivan banged on the windows from her backseat.
That’s when an officer took notice and ran to her aid. Somehow, Sullivan said, Officer Deidre Mengedoht was able to get her and the driver out of the car.
"Not only did she get me out of that car, very forcibly, she empowered me as a woman, and really uplifted my spirits," Sullivan said.
Mengedoht stayed with Sullivan while they called for another Uber. Mengedoht started questioning the new driver before allowing Sullivan to get in. The driver turned out to be a family friend of Sullivan's.
During the wait, Sullivan said Mengedoht did her best to connect with her as a woman, and pushed her to go on that first date she was heading to.
"She said, 'Girl I know what you're going through,'" Sullivan recalled Mengedoht telling her. "'You're going through a horrible situation and you're going to make your first date. You text that guy and say you're going to be late, but you are going to be there.'"
That's when they snapped a picture.
When news broke of a fallen officer, Sullivan was shocked.
“I’m like that’s her, and that’s when I started comparing pictures and ran towards my jewelry box and I’m like, that’s, that’s DeeDee,” she said. “And actually I remember her name now on her uniform.”
Sullivan added: “She was just so real as a person.”
Mengedoht gave Sullivan a business card. On the back was her personal cell phone number in case Sullivan ever needed a pick me up again.
Det. Mengedoht was 32-years-old when she was killed in a crash while conducting a traffic stop on I-64 on Christmas Eve. She leaves behind a nine-year-old son.
Those wishing to donate to her son should click or tap here.