Off-Duty Goldsboro Cop Saves Fellow Police Officer's Life
Posted July 26, 2001 7:55 a.m. EDT
GOLDSBORO — A Goldsboro police officer who was critically injured in a crash last week is getting better. Officer George Horton is in fair condition at UNC Hospitals, but he might not have survived the fiery collision without quick action from a fellow police officer.
Being a cop was the last thing officer Robert Smith was thinking about last Friday. His father had just died. Smith was off-duty, getting his hair cut for the funeral, when he heard a crash across the street.
"There was a tanker truck and a huge crash at that time. A man was coming into the barber shop and said there was a police officer that got hurt," Smith said.
The officer's car was sandwiched between a fuel truck and a mini-van. Smith ran to the intersection to help, thinking he would probably know the officer involved. It turned out he was right.
The injured officer turned out to be George Horton, a policeman Smith had trained five years ago when Horton joined the department.
"The car was on fire. They got some fire extinguishers and tried to put it out, but we couldn't get it out, so I grabbed Officer Horton, and I just pulled until I got him out," he said.
Horton's skull was fractured, and he had to be airlifted to UNC Hospitals. Doctors say he is slowly getting better. Those who saw the accident say he might not have made it without Smith's help.
"I didn't have time to think. It was all from the training experience. I just knew what I had to do," he said.
Goldsboro police say they are still investigating the accident. No charges have been filed.