CLAY COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Many across the state, from co-workers to community members, and even all the way up to Governor Greg Abbott, are hailing a Clay County DPS trooper a hero.
Trooper Curtis Woodard was working with the Texas Department of Public Safety Special Operations when a deadly scenario unfolded in front of him.
“I was laid in, it was dark, and observed that raft coming across,” Woodard said.
As Trooper Woodard observed activity across the border like usual, this trip took a different turn.
“What made me start moving was hearing the splashing,” Woodard said, “And hearing the women in a distressed voice saying ‘help me, help me in Spanish.”
So, Woodard sprang into action.
“Going through the cane for me, getting in the tree, observing, seeing what’s going on, seeing that the baby is underwater,” Woodard said.
He was able to pull the mother to safety, while scooping a baby out of the water.
“Being able to pick up the baby, it’s just taking one thing at a time and just working through it,” Woodard said.
Texas and DPS officials said the mother and baby were pushed overboard by cartel members, resulting in a broken leg.
Woodard said he doesn’t know what exactly happened that night, but he didn’t have to think twice.
“At that point, I didn’t care how she got into the water, I just knew she needed to be saved,” Woodard said.
A feeling that sergeant Dan Buesing said is common for DPS Troopers.
“No matter where we work in the state, you do your best to try and help out the public, and in this case, it turned out to be a life-saving event and changed the life of that baby and that family,” Buesing said.
And his training is what Trooper Woodard credits with helping him prepare for all different types of scenarios.
“I’ve been all over the state, in every major city in the last year, so as a trooper, we’re asked, being asked to provide more for our community, and I mean it’s something I love to do,” Woodard said.
Trooper Woodard is now gaining some recognition from around the state, all the way up to the top!
“It’s not something that I expected by any means,” Woodard said. “I didn’t think anything of it, I told a few friends about it, it’s a very rewarding thing, but as a law enforcement officer, you don’t always see when you actually help somebody.”
Not just helping somebody, but saving two lives in the process.