BRIGHTON, Colo. (WFLA) — A picture of a Colorado police officer singing to a 2-year-old girl moments after her family was in a terrible crash is touching people around the world. It’s a photo that captures the heart of police work.
Brighton Officer Nick Struck was on patrol last Thursday when he was dispatched to a fatal crash near I-76 and Buckley. “We started kind of attending to the kids,” Officer Struck recalls.
The father died instantly. The mother and three of four young children were injured. While paramedics worked to save them, they handed the fourth child – a 2-year-old girl – to Officer Struck. “She was crying. She was soaked in gasoline from the truck. The smells. It was really awful,” he remembered.
The way she fit into his arms reminded Officer Struck of his own 2-year-old daughter. “My daughter, who’s the sweetest thing in the world, when she falls and cries, she wants ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ sung to her. So then this girl, when I was out in the field, I was singing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ and pointing to the lights on the fire truck,” Officer Struck said.
Jessica Matrious, who saw the crash and stopped to help, took the picture. “He was trying to keep her from watching what was going on behind her,” Matrious said. She says you could see the toddler 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 start kicking in,” Officer Struck said.
Matrious tweeted the picture and it’s now been shared all over the world. “It’s humbling for sure,” Officer Struck said. He says 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 all the time,” Officer Struck said.