Sheriff's officer receives award

Newton. Sergeant Erich Olsen wins Meritorious Service Award for heroic rescue of man trapped in burning vehicle.

Newton /
Aug 12 2019 | 03:09 PM

Sheriff Michael F. Strada presented Sergeant Erich Olsen with the Meritorious Service Award for his heroic actions in coming to the aid of an individual who became trapped in his own burning vehicle beneath the trailer of a truck on Interstate Route 80.

Working with bystanders, Olsen worked to extinguish the flames and pull the vehicle from beneath the trailer enough to be able to extricate the driver. Olsen procured additional fire extinguishers from passing motorists and used them to prevent the flames from engulfing the driver seat area. The driver was transported to a medical facility with serious life-threatening injuries.

His actions, under adverse conditions with a high degree of hazard to his own personal safety, prevented the victim from suffering certain death at the scene and provided the best opportunity in surviving the serious injuries inflicted as a result of the accident.

“Sergeant Olsen’s actions were heroic and contributed to saving the man’s life," Strada said. "He brings great credit to this agency and the law enforcement profession as a whole.”