Maricopa man jumps into action after horrific crash that injured corrections officer

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jan 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 16:24:39-05

Damon Burke was sitting at a red light near State Route 347 and Riggs Road last week when tragedy struck.

"I was just kind of looking down at my notepad, thinking about the next job, when we heard the loud, what I thought was an explosion," Burke said.

Damon's day quickly changed. Instead of heading to his next garage door repair, he saw destruction.

He could also hear the screams of people trapped in the cars after investigators say a pick-up truck crossed over into oncoming traffic.

"You could just see melee, it was literally like someone had dropped a bomb in the middle of 347," Burke said.

Damon, who owns Dad's Garage Doors and Openers in Maricopa, hopped out of his repair truck and ran over to help. 

He noticed a car with the driver's side window shattered. When he looked inside, he discovered a man in uniform, covered in blood.

"As other personnel started to arrive, I kind of jumped up, and yelled, 'Hey we've got a severe head trauma, and someone needs to get over here quickly,'" Burke said.

Damon said a piece of a car suspension flew into the gold Crown Victoria.

He later found out the injured man was a corrections officer heading home from work.

Damon said the officer was struggling to breathe.

"Had I not been there, hopefully someone else would have stepped up, and there was a lot of people that stopped up that day," said Burke.

Damon said the officer's phone was ringing in the car the entire time he was trying to help.

It turns out, it was the officer's wife. Damon picked up the phone and told her to get to the hospital.

"I know that if I was in that situation, my family, my employees, my friends, I would want someone to be there with them as well," Burke said.

Damon said the officer's family reached out to him, thanking him for helping paramedics. Damon said as of the last update, the officer is still in critical condition and unconscious.

Investigators expect the driver who caused the crash to be released from the hospital soon. He will be facing "numerous criminal charges" according to DPS.

Investigators are also looking into impairment as a factor. As of Tuesday, two victims remain in the hospital.