Updated Sep 4, 2013 - 8:11 pm
Scottsdale officer honored for pulling man from burning truck
PHOENIX -- A Scottsdale police officer who pulled a man from a burning truck was honored for his bravery Wednesday at the Arizona Burn Center.
When Scottsdale Police Officer Patrick Hindsberg arrived at an accident near Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Cactus Road, he found a truck had hit a pole, rolled over and caught fire.The driver, Hartley Johnson, was trapped inside.
Hindsberg pulled Johnson out of the truck, but he said other people were also helping out at the accident scene.
"There were other witnesses there that were doing what they could to put the fire out. All we had was dirt," said Hindsberg. "I just found an opportunity to pull Mr. Johnson out of the back window. I used all of my might, somehow got him out and was able to keep him. I'm glad he's still with us. I'm glad I was able to do what I did."
Johnson's legs had to be amputated because of his burns, but he's thankful that Hindsberg saved his life.
"It was a bad nightmare that turned out to good," said Johnson. "I'm still here. Thanks to Patrick Hindsberg for saving me."
Johnson is doing well despite the loss of his legs. He has now enrolled in college and plans to be an engineer. His wife was ejected from the truck, but is recovering from an injured spleen. The cause of the single-vehicle crash is still under investigation.
Hindberg can't believe the honor he's received.
"This is overwhelming. This is not what I expected," he said. "This a true honor that the hospital did for me here. Most of our job goes unrecognized, and it's great once in a while that we do get recognized."
The Maricopa Health Foundation is asking for donations to the Arizona Burn Center to help the Johnson's with their medical expenses. For more information, click here.
Bob McClay, Reporter