Just after midnight on Sunday morning, January 15, 2017, Sgt. Wingart was the first officer on the scene of an injury accident involving a SMART bus and a Ford Fusion. The passenger in the Fusion, a 36-year-old Royal Oak resident, was severely injured and trapped in the vehicle. As Sgt. Wingart approached the scene, she observed the Fusion’s engine compartment had burst into flames. Sgt. Wingart was able to free the trapped motorist by entering the vehicle through the driver’s side. While Sgt. Wingart was attending to the injured passenger, Berkley officers extinguished the flames.
The driver, a 29-year-old Macomb Township resident, and the passenger were transported to Royal Oak Beaumont by the Royal Oak Fire Department. One passenger on the SMART bus reported minor injuries. Initial information has determined the driver rear-ended the SMART bus that had just dropped off passengers at the time of the crash. Alcohol is suspected in being a contributing factor; however, this investigation is ongoing.
“I am very proud, but not surprised with Sgt. Wingart’s quick thinking and bravery. With complete disregard for her own personal safety, she entered a burning vehicle to assist an injured passenger. I would like to acknowledge the Berkley officer who extinguished the flames while Sgt. Wingart was helping the injured woman.” Chief Corrigan O’Donohue