SAN MARCOS, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - It was Saturday night when San Marcos Officer Claudia Cormier responded to a call to clean up debris on I-35. While doing her job, police say 58-year-old Neil Sheehan hit her with his SUV.
“The Texas Highway Patrol helped us with this crash investigation the night of the event and they did arrest the driver for intoxication assault and failing to yield the lane to an emergency vehicle,” said Chase Stapp, Chief of San Marcos Police Department.
Stapp said it was the quick thinking of a passerby, who happened to be a nurse, who made the difference. “She made some makeshift tourniquets out of I think T-shirt material. She had makeshift tourniquets prepared and applied before our officers got there on scene,” said Stapp.
The surgeon believed the makeshift tourniquets are what kept Cormier alive before getting into the operating room. She lost her right leg as a result of the accident, but not her perseverance. “Claudia is extremely driven, she's courageous and she's going to get through this,” said Stapp.
Todd Harrison with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas said this is an example of just how much police risk each and every day at work. “Their day can go from 0 to 100 in the blink of an eye. She was serving her community trying to keep travelers safe, when to no fault of her own, she was devastatingly injured,” said Harrison.
Cormier has a series of surgeries ahead of her but the chief says she remains positive and she will pull through. If you wish to donate to help Cormier’s family during the recovery process, visit your local RBFCU branch and ask to donate to her fund.