Two officers honored for saving man’s life on Dillon Dam Road |

Two officers honored for saving man’s life on Dillon Dam Road

Caitlin Row
Summit County correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

DILLON, Colorado – Security specialist Jeremy DuFour expected a quiet night while guarding the Frisco side of the Dillon Dam Road on Jan. 18.

“Sundays are usually the deadest day,” said DuFour, who works for Specialized Protective Service, a company contracted by Denver Water to guard the Dillon Dam Road.

But DeFour’s night turned out to be anything but quiet. At about 12:20 a.m., a young man driving a stolen vehicle smashed through the barricade on the Dam Road from Frisco. He then crashed the car and tried to escape, but injured himself when he rolled down a steep embankment. DeFour, along with Dillon police officer Joe Staufer, revived and stabilized the man.

DuFour and Staufer were honored by Dillon’s Chief of Police Joe Wray at Tuesday’s town council meeting for putting themselves in danger to save another in freezing temperatures. Both men were given the Dillon Police Department Life Saving Award.

Summit County’s undersheriff Derek Woodman said the incident exemplifies cooperation between all the agencies up here – up to seven different entities worked together to handle the situation.

When the car came through the road barrier, DuFour said he “figured it would be a drunk guy.” But when he approached the car, the man hit the gas and drove straight for him, trying to bypass the officer.

“It could have been anything,” he said of the incident.

The car crashed into the guardrail about half-way across the dam. DuFour’s partner came around to “box him in.” Upon exploring the vehicle, the security officers realized the man was gone – after crashing, the driver got out of the car, jumped over the guardrail on the north (Silverthorne ball field side) and then fell down the front of the dam – an extremely steep embankment.

DuFour said he got spotlights to search for the missing man, and spotted him 60 feet away, hunched over. At that point, the security officers had contacted dispatch and Staufer was on his way. The man was screaming, appeared extremely intoxicated and had undetermined injuries. He was not coherent, DuFour said, and he was losing consciousness.

According to DuFour, Staufer arrived in the nick of time, just as the man stopped breathing. They revived him together – Staufer brought his CPR mask and AED (defibrillator). The two men, who’d never met before, worked together to stabilize the man and keep him from rolling further down the embankment.

“As additional medical and law enforcement help arrived, the young man started breathing on his own again, and he was stabilized before being transported to Summit Medical Center for additional care,” Wray said in his award speech. “It was also noted that when the young man regained consciousness, he became extremely combative, which is not uncommon with closed-head injuries.”

Staufer said it was reassuring working with DuFour, as he was a skilled individual who “put his life in jeopardy to aid someone else.”

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a criminal or not,” DuFour said. “We’re here to protect the dam and help people.”

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