PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was a horrendous early morning collision last Nov. 15 between two vehicles on West Carson Street near the Corliss Tunnel.
Four individuals were trapped inside the cars.
With fuel leaking, one car on fire, and occupants unconscious, McKees Rocks Police officers David Finnerty and Ryan Coll dragged the victims to safety.
“They routinely go above and beyond the call of duty, and put themselves at risk,” said McKees Rocks Police Chief Robert Cirfrulak at the time.
On Friday, at the Amen Corner Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon, KDKA-TV’s Jon Delano presented the two officers with the “Starsky and Hutch” Award.
The two heroic officers have pulled people from burning homes and crashes in the past; and therefore, this was just routine for them, a routine that for all of us, clearly goes beyond the call of duty.
Besides awards to Finnerty and Coll, 14 other officers and detectives received recognition, but a special award was given Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, whose foundation donates canines to police departments in every area in which the Steelers play.
“My hometown, Findlay, Ohio, had one canine dog and I’ve got a couple friends on that police force and that canine dog was shot off-duty by a neighbor — just decided to pull out a shotgun and shoot the dog — so I decided to buy them a new dog,” Big Ben told the audience.
“As a big-time dog lover, my dad and I came up with the idea of that being part of the foundation,” he said.
Chief Mike Scott, of Baldwin Borough, whose police department has received a canine, said, “Ben Roethlisberger is not only a champion on the football field, he is a champion to law enforcement everywhere.”
The quarterback noted the dogs end up in lots of places.
“Every home game we buy one for someone around Pittsburgh and for away games — hard as it is to buy something for Baltimore, Cincinnati, places like that — we still do it,” Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger said even the away game donations are meaningful.
“To me it really means something when you have an officer from Baltimore — I’m on vacation somewhere and he comes up to me and tells me — first of all, as a Baltimore person to come up to talk to me is a big step — to tell me how much it meant to him,” the Steelers’ quarterback said.
During the ceremony, State Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, from Philadelphia and an Eagles fan, had a special gift for Roethlisberger — a motorcycle helmet with the Eagles’ logo.
McCaffery: “I know the colors may not be to your liking, but I just thought — us motorcycle guys — I got to cover your back cause I want the Steelers to win the 27th Super Bowl or something.”
Roethlisberger: “Thank you. That’s awesome. I have to say, I have to stand up for myself. I don’t ride anymore, just the toilet. So I can wear this when I’m on the toilet. Is that all right?”