An emotional picture taken at the scene of a deadly car crash has captured a police officer trying to distract a two-year-old girl whose family was being pulled from their wrecked vehicle.
Nick Struck was the third police officer to arrive at the scene in Brighton, Colorado, after the accident last Thursday, when he was handed a young girl to look after as emergency responders were busy assisting her family in the SUV.
Sadly, the toddler’s father did not survive, while her mother and sibling were airlifted to the emergency room. Ambulances then took the girl and her two other siblings to hospital. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. An officer holds one of the girls who was in the crash and talks to her as his colleagues work to dismantle the car behind.
According to the police, no one in the SUV was wearing a seatbelt. Officer Struck told 9News:
When you hear that there’s children involved, I’ll tell you what, everyone that responds to that scene, you get that pit in your stomach.
The first thing we do when we get on scene is we just try to, if we can comfort anybody, of course we’re going to go to the kids.
So then the role we do is, to keep them safe, what would I want that dad to do if it was my daughter.
2. Witnesses said the car was driving down Colorado’s Interstate 76 in Brighton on Thursday morning when it flipped and rolled.
3. No one in the car was wearing a seatbelt. The father was killed at the wheel, while the rest are in hospital.
A father of a two-year-old daughter himself, the officer knew what to do to keep the girl calm and immediately began singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. He said:
I know for my daughter, it’s just the attention that someone is there, listening. It’s the same for adults, but kids, they take it on a whole other level.
They’ll gravitate to you, and I remember when I was holding her, she was grabbing the back of my arm, which is something my daughter does. Just stroking to the music, “twinkle, twinkle”.
As the officer was caring for the girl and keeping her away from her family’s horror, bystander Jessica Matrious took the photo which quickly went viral.
4. “When you hear that there’s children involved, I’ll tell you what, everyone that responds to that scene, you get that pit in your stomach”, Officer Nick Struck (pictured) said.
Matrious told 9News that she was driving on Interstate 76 when she saw the SUV flip over and roll into the grass. She said:
They took an extreme sharp right turn and just immediately started to roll.
I pulled over, obviously, and started running to the field to see what I could do.
It’s so horrible to see something like that happen, especially because it could have been prevented.
If the father was wearing a seatbelt, then he’d still be here.
It is unknown at present what condition the other children and their mother are in.
5. An eyewitness recalls the horror of the car crash.
Read more: 9News.
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