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Officer offers help at fatal accident.

Corrections Officer Kirk Allen Brown was driving home one afternoon last July after his shift at California's Avenal State Prison when he came upon a fatal accident involving two tractor trailers carrying tomatoes in rural Kings County.

One of the trucks had broadsided the other after failing to stop at a stop sign. The broadsided truck hit a utility pole, leaving power lines dangling directly above the wreck. The truck then exploded, sending burning fuel into an adjacent field.

Brown parked his car and ran toward the wreck. The driver of the first truck was trying to help the driver of the burning truck, who was lying directly beneath the power lines. After checking the victim for a pulse and finding none, Brown guided the surviving truck driver away from the dangerous area.

A highway patrolman then arrived to take control, and Brown helped reroute traffic around the accident scene for about two hours.

For his actions, Brown received a letter of commendation from the California State Highway Patrol. "His assistance in traffic control was invaluable and allowed emergency crews and the investigating officer to restore the scene to normal within a minimum amount of time," said Lt. Bill Roeber of the Department of California Highway Patrol. "I am always gratified to learn of incidents where the highway patrol and corrections departments work so closely together."

Brown, who has been a corrections officer since 1989, suffered a knee injury during the incident and was off work for nearly two months. Nevertheless, he says, "I'd do it again in a heart's beat--even though I know I risked my life."
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Title Annotation:Best in the Business; Kirk Allen Brown of California's Avenal State Prison
Author:Spertzel, Jody K.
Publication:Corrections Today
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Words:268
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