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UHP Trooper and the Girl He Helped Save are Reunited

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 UTAH) Six months ago two cars hit head on I-15 in Millard County. Highway Patrol photos show the damage to the cars that claimed the life of one of the drivers. And other photos show the damage to a young Utah girl who was in one of the cars – a compound fracture of her right leg, a broken arm and other injuries. The man who helped her survive that crash was also the first UHP trooper on the scene that afternoon.
      
In this week’s Behind the Badge officer profile – the trooper and the little girl are reunited.  
 
Nine-year-old Brynlee Jensen and Trooper Colton Freckleton hug each other and exchange a few words. It’s an embrace that’s been nearly six months in the making. You see, the trooper is one of Brynlee’s heroes. “He pulled me out of the car and saved my life.” But before Trooper Freckleton and others could help – Brynlee had to deal with the immediate aftermath and the loss of her step-mother all alone. “Everything went black. Then I opened my eyes and there was just glass and I was squished and there was screaming.” “My arm felt weird cause it was broken right here. My leg felt weird and I looked down and I saw my bone sticking out and I started screaming.” Within a few minutes Trooper Freckleton arrived on scene. “The second I saw her I immediately saw her leg. She had an open compound fracture of her right leg. The bone was sticking out about four inches and it was bleeding.”     
 
As he and others helped – Trooper Freckleton was struck with how strong she was. “She would say – “My arm hurts. My arm hurts.” And I felt like she was more concerned about her arm than her actual leg and I was thinking – Oh, my gosh you are just the toughest little girl.” “I sat there and talked to her for a minute and then something clicked in my mind and I knew I had to get a tourniquet on her leg because it was still bleeding pretty heavily.” “He said were going to tie a tourniquet around your leg. Were going to get you to an ambulance.”     >    
 
And that is exactly what happened. Brynlee was rushed to a nearby hospital and then transferred to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. A few days later Trooper Freckleton and UHP Superintendent Micahel Rapich visited Brynlee in the hospital and gave her a Utah Highway Patrol Stuffed Bear. Trooper Freckleton says “The re-connection at the hospital was just inspired by… I just wanted to see how she was doing. She had just lost her step mom. ”  
 
Since then Trooper Freckleton has remained in touch over the phone with Brynlee and her mother. And this week – he made that connection in person. 
 
Trooper Freckleton – who used to be an EMT and is also a volunteer firefighter – says he joined UHP hoping to be able to help in a situation just like that. “I wanted to be first on scene and help whoever I can. That was my mentality with my EMT background – I wanted to be there to help that person.” 
 
Brynlee and her family are certainly glad he was that person that day. 
      
Trooper Freckleton plans a long career with UHP and while a lot of his job is stopping drunk drivers and speeding motorists in Juab and Millard Counties – he says that is his way of protecting Utahns. “You pull over someone who doesn’t have a driver’s license or doesn’t have insurance that could have gotten in a crash and caused harm to either my family or someone else’s family.”
      
Freckleton has been with UHP for two years. He is also a volunteer fire fighter in Nephi and used to be an EMT. 
 
To see our Behind the Badge stories and to nominate an officer for a future profile go to: http://www.good4utah.com/badge

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