COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The College Station Police Department makes a lot of tough decisions. Officer Collin Bradford proved on his first day reporting to field training why hiring him wasn't one of them.
On August 12, 2020, Officer Bradford was on Highway 30, near the intersection of County Road 242 his way to report to work when he saw a van leave the roadway, roll and hit a power pole. The van then caught on fire.
Bradford then pulled over and ran towards the van. Another person who also saw the crash helped Bradford get the driver of the van to safety. The passenger in the van, though, was trapped and couldn't get out.
Since the crash had damaged the passenger's door and it couldn't be opened, Bradford then went to the driver's side and reached through the broken window towards the passenger.
"My husband said he just remembered some monstrous hands pulling him," said the passenger's wife.
Bradford and the Good Samaritan were able to pull the passenger through the driver's side window and escape from the van, which became fully engulfed. The passenger later said if Officer Bradford and the other person had not been there to save him, he would have died.
"It's not every day you get to see a hero," the man said, as he choked up. "I don't remember seeing you or having you pull me out. The only thing I remember is being up against the building. I can't thank you enough for your unselfish assistance."
In November, Officer Bradford was awarded the department's Lifesaving Award. While that August day may have been Bradford's first training day, he won't soon forget it.
"It was a way to get the first day jitters out," Officer Bradford said, humbly.
Police Chief Billy Couch said Officer Bradford's conduct is what officers at the CSPD are all about. "It's very evident of the selfless hearts in the room," Chief Couch said. "They put themselves in harm's way and do whatever it takes to save someone else."