Brighton Police officer shares story behind emotional photo

BRIGHTON - The Brighton Police officer captured on camera holding and comforting a young crash victim on Thursday is sharing the emotional story for the first time.

Officer Nick Struck was third to arrive at the scene of a one-vehicle crash off I-76 near E-470 that left one man dead, as well as one woman and four children injured. All six were ejected from the SUV.

"When you hear that there's children involved, I'll tell you what, everyone that responds to that scene, you get that pit in your stomach," he said. "The first thing we do when we get on scene is we just try to, if we can comfort anybody, of course we're going to go to the kids."

Struck said he was handed the little girl, around 2-years-old, by another first-responder. The little girl's father was the man who died in the crash.

"So then the role we do is, to keep them safe, what would I want that dad to do if it was my daughter," he said.

Struck, who also has a two-year-old daughter, began singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."

"I know for my daughter, it's just the attention that someone is there, listening. It's the same for adults, but kids, they take it on a whole other level," he said. "They'll gravitate to you, and I remember when I was holding her, she was grabbing the back of my arm, which is something my daughter does. Just stroking to the music, 'twinkle, twinkle.'"

The emotional moment was captured on camera by a witness -- Jessica Matrious -- who told 9NEWS she saw the vehicle blow a tire and lose control.

The official cause of the accident is still under investigation. Police say the two adults and four children were not properly restrained in the SUV. Their identities have not been released.

"I have a two-year-old daughter and she's my first kid. So of course, your first thought is that could be your little daughter," Struck said. "I'm not a medical person, but I know how to give a hug to somebody, and you better believe every one of those officers on scene would do the same thing."

(KUSA-TV © 2015 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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