Webster Police Officer recognized for life-saving actions during blizzard

WEBSTER, S.D. (KXLG) – A Webster Police Officer has been recognized by the Day County Sheriff’s Office for his actions which helped save the life of a semi driver from during a blizzard that hit the area on Dec. 23. Officer Dylan Collins had just come on-duty at 6 a.m. and was on-patrol when he was dispatched to the crash on Highway 12 west of Webster.

The fast moving winter-storm brought winds in excess of 50 mph that morning which limited visibility and made regular travel very dangerous. The storm slowed Officer Collins’ response to the scene.

While enroute the Watertown 9-1-1 Center was providing updates to Collins.

After several minutes Collins says he arrived on-scene just as dispatch advised they had lost phone contact with the driver who was still in the icy water.

After finding a safe location to park his own patrol car, Collins exited his patrol car and could hear someone yelling for help.

The ice broke and Collins dropped into frozen water that was about 6 feet deep. After the initial shock, Collins who was wearing full-duty gear including his gun belt and body armor became focused on getting himself out of the water.

After getting the semi driver out of the water, the man, who was exhausted and hypothermic fell to his knees.

Both Collins and the driver of the semi were transported to hospital where they were treated for hypothermia. Collins said he was thankful to have been in the right place to help the man. After being released from the Hospital and drying out his equipment he returned back to work patrolling the streets of Webster. The crash was investigated by the South Dakota Highway Patrol and the Day County Sheriff’s Office who were assisted on-scene by Webster Fire and the Christensen Ambulance Service.

Officer Collins is a 2016 graduate of Lake Area Technical College’s Law Enforcement Program.