DENVER (KDVR) — A man captured the intense moments when a Denver police officer was hit by a fire truck at the Nuggets championship parade.
“All of a sudden we were standing there, right at the corner, and I just heard this blood-curdling scream,” Brian Willie said.
Willie was on the front row, taking in sights that were anything but celebratory.
“I saw this officer falling backwards, and the truck is still kind of going forward a little bit,” Willie said.
The officer, identified as Sgt. Justin Dodge, was the man under that truck.
“It looked like the legs kind of got crossed and then the truck came up and was sitting, kind of, on his legs,” Willie said. “He very easily could have crushed both his legs the way the truck was on him.”
Willie captured images during the historic celebration, which suddenly became a tragedy shared by all of Denver.
“I see Jamal Murray in the bucket looking down like concerned, and then that’s when the crowd then just changed from the chanting to a real concern,” Willie said.
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Willie was the right man in the right spot for a terrible accident. He has been in that position before as a journalist and photographer.
“That’s what I do, it’s my life, that’s what I’ve always done,” Willie said.
He was at the parade, celebrating with his son, even managing to catch a happy image of that. Still, Willie said, that doesn’t make his unexpected assignment any easier.
“The image is something I won’t forget, because it went, right away, from this pure celebration to this, ‘Oh my God, is this guy gonna be OK?'” Willie said.
One man went on to prove he’s good at his job — hoping another gets to return to his.
“I don’t know if he’ll be ever to work again or not, but I hope he is able to get back to his job,” Willie said.