HAZELWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) – It’s a special honor for a Hazelwood police officer left partially paralyzed in a 2016 car crash.
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Craig Tudor, 37, was on his way to answer a call for help when another vehicle slammed into his near Village Square shopping center.
Tudor’s car went off the road and overturned.
On Wednesday evening before a jammed-to-the-rafters city council meeting, Tudor was presented with the Purple Heart award signifying his injury in the line of duty.
Hazelwood Police Chief Gregg Hall recounted some of the heroic feats performed by Tudor during the 11 years he served on the force prior to last year’s crash.
“He was able to convince a mental health patient to discard his weapon and keep him from killing himself,” Hall recalled of a 2007 incident that led to an honorable mention for a Crisis Intervention Team Officer of the Year Award. “It’s been my determination that he’s more than earned this department’s Purple Heart award.”
Hall also recalled that during that same year, Tudor was “in the right place at the right time” and was able to save the life of a baby who was choking in a restaurant.
Mayor Matt Robinson noted the incredibly strong outpouring of support for Officer Tudor, his wife Christine, and their family.
“Not only from just local residents, but the fundraisers that were held and all the support that came out, and the working together to try and raise some money for this tragedy,” Robinson said.
The Tudors are still waiting to move into their specially-modified house that will be wheelchair accessible, a project of Rescue Responders and Payne Family Homes.
The Gary Sinise Foundation has also been involved in that effort.
A soft-spoken Craig Tudor took the time to thank everyone for their support.
“When something like this happens, it’s reassuring that everyone pulls together to make sure that they take care of their fellow officer,” he told reporters at the meeting.
When the Purple Heart was presented to Tudor and Mayor Robinson invited “friends, family and supporters” to come up for a group photo, nearly half of the crowd of well over 100 people stood up and squeezed into the shot.