Denver officer hit by fire truck at end of Nuggets parade undergoes surgery to save his leg

Sgt. Justin Dodge was on the front passenger side of the fire truck protecting fans from traffic when he was caught under the wheels

By Sarah Roebuck

DENVER — A Denver police officer was seriously injured after he was struck by a fire truck during the Denver Nuggets parade. 

The officer, identified as Sgt. Justin Dodge, was on the front passenger side of the truck protecting fans from the truck when he stepped closer to the fire truck. As a result, his left leg was caught under the wheels, Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said at a news conference

Dodge was taken to the hospital with a "very significant lower leg injury" and has undergone surgery to save his leg, Thomas said.

Dodge's medical team said he is stable but has a "limb-threatening injury" and will continue to receive treatment.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said Dodge is a highly decorated veteran and had been assigned to the SWAT division with the Denver Police Department.

The police chief said fencing was installed to prevent people from entering the street, and police officers were stationed along the parade route and near vehicles transporting Nuggets players. However, he mentioned that, despite these measures, fans managed to "overcome" them.

Thomas emphasized that it wouldn't be justifiable to assign blame to the fans who were merely celebrating the Nuggets.

"The only safety challenge we faced at that point was the injury that happened to the officer as he was protecting these community members from the fire trucks," Thomas said. "The officer was doing his job, protecting the public, and unfortunately was injured."

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. 

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