By Rebekah Martin
Officer Chad Leverette went above and beyond the call of duty last month while responding to a single-vehicle crash on West Point Parkway Dec. 6. For his heroic actions, he was honored at Tuesday’s council meeting as the OPD Officer of the Quarter.
Mayor Gary Fuller said Leverette was selected as Officer of the Quarter by his peers and read aloud the synopsis of the night’s events. “The vehicle was partially engulfed by fire and had two occupants trapped inside, Officer Leverette did not allow the burning vehicle to stop him from performing his duty at a high standard. He immediately retrieved his fire extinguisher and attempted to extinguish the blaze, he then requested additional police and fire units, as well as more fire extinguishers,” Fuller said. “As officers and supervisors continued to arrive on scene, Officer Leverette directed them to the burning vehicle to assist with the fire.”
“He retrieved another fire extinguisher and stood at the opening of the hood near the passenger compartment, where the front seat passenger was trapped, and discharged the extinguisher. At that time, the passenger’s lower extremities were being scorched by the flames. He positioned himself almost on top of the flames to maximize the effect of the extinguisher, without regard for his personal safety. Each time an extinguisher was deployed, the flames died down a slight amount, and he was able to manage the fire until Opelika Fire Department personnel were able to successfully extract and save the occupants,” Fuller said.
Both victims were airlifted for medical treatment and, while the passenger sustained fire-related injuries to his lower extremities, both survived the accident.
Fuller said Leverette’s actions saved both of their lives. Police Chief John McEachern expressed his appreciation for Leverette adding “We’re very fortunate to have Chad working in the police department. He has proved to be a tremendous asset.”