Wauconda cop honored for saving driver after fiery crash

  • Wauconda officer Chris Gallivan, right, hugs Linda Morris of McHenry, the mother of David Morris, who was saved by Gallivan after being badly injured in a fiery car crash earlier this year.

    Wauconda officer Chris Gallivan, right, hugs Linda Morris of McHenry, the mother of David Morris, who was saved by Gallivan after being badly injured in a fiery car crash earlier this year. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Wauconda officer Chris Gallivan, left, talks with 28-year-old David Morris of McHenry. Gallivan saved Morris, who was badly injured in a fiery car crash earlier this year.

    Wauconda officer Chris Gallivan, left, talks with 28-year-old David Morris of McHenry. Gallivan saved Morris, who was badly injured in a fiery car crash earlier this year. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Wauconda police officer Chris Gallivan was honored Tuesday for rescuing a McHenry man whose car had crashed into a tree and caught fire May 31.

    Wauconda police officer Chris Gallivan was honored Tuesday for rescuing a McHenry man whose car had crashed into a tree and caught fire May 31. Courtesy of Wauconda Police Department

  • Wauconda officer Chris Gallivan, right, is honored by Chief David Wermes Tuesday night at Wauconda village hall. Gallivan saved the life of 28-year-old David Morris of McHenry after he was badly injured in a fiery car crash earlier this year.

    Wauconda officer Chris Gallivan, right, is honored by Chief David Wermes Tuesday night at Wauconda village hall. Gallivan saved the life of 28-year-old David Morris of McHenry after he was badly injured in a fiery car crash earlier this year. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • David Morris, 28, of McHenry, right, applauds as Wauconda officer Chris Gallivan is honored Tuesday night at Wauconda village hall. Gallivan saved Morris' life after he was injured in a fiery car crash earlier this year.

    David Morris, 28, of McHenry, right, applauds as Wauconda officer Chris Gallivan is honored Tuesday night at Wauconda village hall. Gallivan saved Morris' life after he was injured in a fiery car crash earlier this year. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • David Morris of McHenry was at Wauconda village hall Tuesday night when officer Chris Gallivan was honored for saving his life earlier this year.

    David Morris of McHenry was at Wauconda village hall Tuesday night when officer Chris Gallivan was honored for saving his life earlier this year. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/12/2017 7:22 AM

A Wauconda police officer was honored Tuesday for saving a badly injured driver's life following a fiery crash earlier this year.

The ceremony at village hall also reunited Officer Chris Gallivan with accident victim David Morris of McHenry for the first time since the May 31 accident.

 

Morris, still in a wheelchair because of his injuries, shook hands and exchanged pleasantries with Gallivan after the officer received a Life Saving Award from Police Chief David Wermes.

Morris' parents, Linda and Woody Morris. thanked Gallivan for his quick actions, too.

"(He was) the right man and the right spot," Woody Morris said. "He did his job. He did his job quite well."

The modest Gallivan didn't have much to say to the crowd of police officers, firefighters and civilians that gathered to honor him Tuesday.

Mayor Lincoln Knight, however, expressed his gratitude for Gallivan's service and his actions that day.

"We're proud to have you on our department," Knight said.

The 28-year-old Morris doesn't remember the crash. He was turning from Route 59 onto Route 12 when his 2016 Dodge Charger went off the road and slammed into a tree.

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The car was on fire when Gallivan got there, Wermes said. Gallivan put out the fire with a portable extinguisher, forced open the damaged driver's-side door, cut Morris' seat belt and pulled him from the car.

Gallivan then put a tourniquet on Morris' leg and waited for paramedics to arrive.

Morris suffered a broken leg, a broken hand and other injuries. He was treated at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.

In addition to reading a description of the accident and Gallivan's response, Wermes presented Gallivan with a medal and a red-and-white ribbon for his uniform. The audience gave the officer a standing ovation, too.

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