BRIGHTON, Colo. — A precious moment photographed at a terrible scene is getting worldwide attention.
It was taken at the location of a deadly crash in Brighton last week when a police officer used his skills as a father to calm the fears of frightened little girl.
Brighton officer Nick Struck was on patrol Thursday when he was dispatched to a fatal accident near Interstate 76 and Buckley Road.
“We started kind of attending to the kids,” he said Monday, recalling his arrival at the scene.
Witnesses said the vehicle blew a tire and veered off the side of the highway. It rolled over, killing the father of the family instantly. The mother and three of four young children were injured.
Paramedics went to work to save them and handed the fourth child, a 2-year-old girl, to Struck.
“She was crying. She was soaked in gasoline from the truck. The smells were awful,” he said.
The way she fit into his arms reminded him of his own 2-year-old daughter.
“My daughter, who’s the sweetest thing in the world when she falls down and cries, she wants ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ sung to her,” Struck said. “So this girl, I was singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and pointing to the lights in the fire truck.”
Jessica Matrious saw the crash and stopped to help. She took the picture of the police officer singing to the little girl.
“He was trying to keep her from watching what was going on behind her,” Matrious said.
She said you could see the girl relax as the officer softly sang to her.
“She put her arm around my shoulder just like my daughter does and that’s really when the emotions kicked in,” he said.
Matrious posted the picture to Twitter and it has been tweeted and retweeted thousands of times.
“It’s humbling, that’s for sure,” Struck said.
He said that what he did is no different than what any other officer would do.
“It’s kind of a little glimpse but it really does happen every day,” he said.