• Rick Capone, Sport Editor

WCHS football head coach Johnson helps motorist, dog


DENNIS JOHNSON, head football coach at Woodford County High School, his wife and three children were traveling from their church in Nicholasville to Harrodsburg on Sunday, March 5, when they chose to help a stranger. “I just acted on instinct, and you hope somebody would do (the same) if it were one of my kids,” said Johnson. (File photo by Steve Blake/multiexposures.com)

Woodford County High School head football coach Dennis Johnson and his family were driving to his parents’ house in Harrodsburg when they observed smoke coming from a car ahead of them. After watching the man pull his vehicle off U.S. 68, Johnson stopped to help him and his dog get to safety only moments before his car “exploded from the inside,” Johnson said. The former University of Kentucky and pro football player saw the smoke wasn’t coming from the car’s exhaust so he knew “this guy probably needs some help,” Johnson said. “Just on instinct, we decided to stop and try to give a helping hand,” Johnson said. “And help the guy out a little bit.” Johnson said he never expected WKYT-Channel 27, a Lexington television station, to contact him or air a story and interview him about his decision to help someone in trouble. “You help somebody out and you move on down the road,” said Johnson. The Mercer County native, his wife and three children were traveling from their church in Nicholasville to Harrodsburg on Sunday, March 5, when they chose to help a stranger. “I just acted on instinct, and you hope somebody would do (the same) if it were one of my kids,” said Johnson. As a coach, he described his actions as trying to set a positive example for his players. “You’re never too busy or having too much going on in your life to, hopefully, help somebody else out,” said Johnson. He has not spoken to the man since he helped him out that Sunday, but knows his actions made a difference because “he really cared about his dog. It was like his kid,” Johnson said. After talking to police about what had happened, Johnson said, “I wished the guy good luck, got in the car and went onto my parents’ house.”

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