Amarillo Police Officers Receive Medal of Valor
When it comes to protecting our city, Amarillo has a great group of police officers. Recently the Amarillo Police Department honored two of their own with the Medal of Valor.
Corporal Caleb Finsterwald and Officer Dustin Glick recently received the APD Medal of Valor for their bravery in a situation involving a recent wreck.
According to the Amarillo Police Department:
The officers arrived to find that a vehicle had been west bound when it struck the rear of a tractor trailer traveling in front of it. After the collision, the vehicle continued off the roadway into the grassy area. The engine compartment and front seat of the car and area around it were engulfed in flames, with fire burning 5-10 feet above the car into the air. The burning car produced a great deal of dense, black smoke and started a grass fire around it. The officers approached, and heard “hissing and popping sounds” of the fire burning the car. Witnesses had already stopped at the scene but could not tell the officers if anyone was still in the car. Due to the flames, heat, smoke, and darkened windows, the officers could not tell if anyone was inside the car. Officers found a way to approach on the passenger side because the grass fire completely blocked them from reaching the driver’s side. The officers then heard a muffled yell coming from inside the car. They saw a hand reaching up from the flames inside the car. The officers tried to open the door, but it was locked. They used a metal baton to break out the passenger window. They could see the driver still in her seat; her upper body leaned across the console. The officers remained beside the burning car, working to free the driver. They reached into the car three times in an effort to rescue the woman. Each time, the heat and flames forced them to withdraw their hands and arms. Cpl Finsterwald retrieved a fire extinguisher from the patrol car and tried to put out the flames enough to allow them to reach the driver, but even emptying the entire fire extinguisher into the interior of the car did not control the flames. By this time, arriving firefighters joined in the effort. Even though the firefighters were wearing protective gear, the heat and flames were too intense to allow them to reach the driver until they were able to spray the car with water to extinguish the fire. The driver, Jackie Keeney, age 65, was then pulled from the vehicle. She was transported to the hospital and then flown to another hospital that could provide care for her burn injuries. In spite of the responder’s efforts, she succumbed to the injuries sustained in the fire that afternoon.
So join Mix 94.1 in honoring these police officers. This is another example of how our police officers put their lives on the line for us each day.
Thank you for your service Corporal Caleb Finsterwald and Officer Dustin Glick.