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Governor Pillen Recognizes Trooper, Deputy for Heroic Actions

(LINCOLN, NEB.)  — Friday, Governor Jim Pillen recognized two law enforcement officers for their life-saving actions following a crash on Thanksgiving evening.

On Thursday, November 23, at approximately 9:45 p.m., the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 80 near mile marker 163. Trooper Alex Coffman was the closest to the scene and responded immediately. Trooper Coffman located the two vehicles on their sides and partially submerged in the water of Fremont Slough. Trooper Coffman found two young boys standing in the freezing water and carried them to his patrol vehicle to get warm.

When he returned to the vehicle, the kids’ mother was yelling that another child was still inside the vehicle. Lincoln County Deputy Tyler Schultz arrived at the scene and assisted Trooper Coffman as they tried to extricate the one-year-old girl from the vehicle. The girl was still buckled into her car seat and was partially submerged in the water.

Trooper Coffman and Deputy Schultz both entered the freezing water to reach the girl. Coffman submerged himself to get inside the vehicle and cut the seat belt away. Deputy Schultz was then able to pull the girl out of the vehicle through a broken window.

Friday, Governor Pillen and Nebraska State Patrol Colonel John Bolduc presented the NSP Life Saver Award to Trooper Coffman and the NSP Public Service Award to Deputy Schultz for their heroic actions on Thanksgiving evening. All parties involved in the crash were transported to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

“Across our great state, law enforcement officers and first responders commit many acts of heroism, often without fanfare or recognition,” said Gov. Pillen. “Today’s honorees – Trooper Coffman and Deputy Schultz – represent the dedication and selflessness that defines all who serve and protect Nebraskans, each and every day.” 

The NSP Life Saver Award is presented to NSP personnel for their actions to preserve life while responding to a life-or-death situation. The NSP Public Service Award is presented to non-NSP personnel, including civilians, for heroic actions.