University police officer saves child, woman after crash in Lakeland

Polk County

A campus police officer is being credited for his life-saving efforts and quick thinking that prevented a potentially deadly situation Monday morning.

According to Florida Polytechnic University, Campus Police Officer Tommie Jackson responded to University Boulevard to assist the Lakeland Police Department with a rollover crash shortly after 9 a.m.

Officer Jackson was the first on the scene and found the car partially submerged in a pond and taking on water.

“I immediately heard a baby crying in the car and then I noticed a female in the front seat area of the vehicle. At that point it was go get it done,” Officer Jackson said.

Without hesitation, Officer Jackson went into the pond. “It was knee deep. As soon as I stepped in I immediately went down,” Jackson said. “The thought of alligators was on my mind during the time I was taking my [duty] belt off but I blocked everything else out was just thinking about the safety of the child and the female that was in the vehicle.”

Jackson was able to rescue a small child from a car seat and the child’s mother. He was able to drag them to safety. 

“I had the baby in my right arm and then I was able to go in side the backseat area of the car and grab the mom in the other arm. I had the mom up under my arm and the baby in the other arm and I got them out to safety,” Officer Jackson explained to News Channel 8. “I was there at the right time he said.”

Florida Polytechnic University Deputy Chief Danny Houser said he was impressed with Jackson’s quick thinking. “Tommy’s actions just go beyond the call of duty what he did today,” he said.

The mother and child were treated at the scene by the Lakeland Fire Department and Polk County EMS before being transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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