HARMONY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A Cranberry Township police officer was finally able to go home today, months after being critically injured when he fell from a jersey barrier while in pursuit of a suspect.
It was a bright and beautiful day in Butler County for Cpl. Dan Hahn’s homecoming.
It had been a long time since Cpl. Hahn enjoyed sitting on his porch, a long time since he saw his beloved dog, a long time since Feb. 14 when the officer fell some 25 feet off an Interstate 79 overpass while chasing a suspect.
“He jumped out of his car and ran. I jumped out of my car and started running,” said Cpl. Hahn. “Next thing I remember, I have a bunch of police officers around me, I’m on the ground flat on my back.”
The suspect died in the fall. Hahn survived, but his life hung in the balance as he was flown to Allegheny General Hospital.
“The last thing I remember is the flight nurse leaning over top of me and pulling the door closed,” he said. “The next thing I remember is waking up to my father. I didn’t realize it was three weeks later.”
One hundred days off the job, but it’s been no vacation. His neck was broken, his arm mangled, shoulder damaged, his sternum crushed, but not his spirit.
“I had to learn to walk again. I had to learn to walk up and down steps, stand and sit. All the things a person takes for granted, I had to re-learn. My dad taught me a long time ago – you play the cards you’re dealt,” said Cpl. Hahn. “Every week, I’m doing more this week than I could do last week.”
In no small measure due to a lady named Fritz.
“My wife, Fritz, she’s been a rock. I knew I was [going to] be okay, largely because of her and her support,” he said.
“I was upset, but honestly, I had a peace because I knew he was [going to] be all right,” she said. “Sometimes, when you are put to the test, it either makes you or breaks you. In our case, it’s really been a blessing in that it made us stronger.”
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Cpl. Hahn’s days of serving the public are over. He may have been injured and lost 40 pounds, but it comes down to his saying – pain is temporary, victory is eternal.
“I plan on coming back. I plan on suiting up,” added Cpl. Hahn. “It slowed me down, but it’s not going to stop me.”
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