Jul 25, 2012 2:19 AM by Zach Thaxton
A small group of bystanders were the first to rush to the aid of Colorado Springs police officer Matt Tyner after his motorcycle slammed broadside into a pickup truck on Austin Bluffs Parkway Tuesday afternoon. Dan Mercado says he was at a nearby garden center when he heard the crash right around 2:30 p.m. He and another friend, also named Dan, rushed to find Officer Tyner's motorcycle essentially impaled into the side of the pickup. Officer Tyner was unconscious, pinned between the motorcycle and the pickup, he says.
Mercado and a couple of other bystanders managed to free Officer Tyner from the wreckage and lay him on the pavement. It was obvious, Mercado says, that Officer Tyner had suffered multiple major wounds and was bleeding severely. Mercado says he retrieved some scissors or landscaping shears from the garden center staff to help cut Officer Tyner's helmet off, with instructions coming on the phone via dispatchers. They successfully got his helmet off and stabilized Tyner's head and neck until emergency personnel arrived within minutes, but by that point the wounded officer had stopped breathing and his pulse was almost gone, Mercado says.
Mercado says he saw Officer Tyner's lights flashing just before the crash happened. Colorado Springs Police have not released any details about the crash, including whether Officer Tyner was in pursuit of another vehicle. Mercado says the driver of the pickup, an apparently elderly man, seemed shocked and dazed after the crash. CSPD have not said what, if any charges might be filed against the driver, who remains unidentified.
Mercado is no stranger to tragedies involving officers. He lives just a block away from the spot where Colorado Springs Police Officer Jared Jensen was shot and killed in early 2006. He says he hurts for Tyner's fellow officers -- Mercado's brother is a former CSPD officer now working for Monument Police. He also says his efforts were in no way heroic. He was just doing what any other compassionate citizen would do, he says.