L-R: Capt. Keith Gaston, Trooper Komorek,
Maj. Tony Allen and Capt. Rick Kelley
The 200 Club of Jacksonville honored Trooper Danyen Komorek at its annual awards banquet held March 18 at the Timaquanna Country Club in Jacksonville. The Club awarded Komorek for her heroic actions on on April 15, 2009.
On that day, the Florida Highway Patrol Communications Center advised Komorek of a passenger van that was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate-95 in Nassau County, Fla.
As Komorek drove onto the Interstate from State Road A1A in an attempt to intercept the vehicle, she observed smoke coming from the wooded tree line on the east shoulder of the roadway. As she approached the area, she observed the passenger van on fire. The van had apparently traveled off the roadway down an embankment through a deep ditch filled with water and struck a large tree.
Without hesitation, Komorek exited her patrol car and ran toward the burning vehicle, which was resting halfway in the ditch filled with water approximately three-feet deep. As she entered the water, she observed a male behind the wheel. He had noticeable facial injuries and was very disoriented. Komorek tried to open the driver’s door, but it was jammed shut, so she entered the vehicle through the rear. She tried to communicate with him, but he was unresponsive and unaware of his situation. As the fire quickly progressed to the engine compartment and windshield area of the vehicle, Komorek grabbed the driver's upper arm and pulled him out of the vehicle. She then placed him on the grass shoulder at a safe distance from the vehicle and remained with him, providing medical aid until Nassau County Fire/Rescue arrived.
The Nassau County Fire Department quickly extinguished the fire, treated the driver’s injuries and transported him to Shands/Jacksonville Hospital for further treatment. Komorek’s investigation later revealed that the driver suffered from severe diabetic issues, which was the reason he was disoriented and had no recollection of what had taken place. Had it not been for Komorek being at the right place at the right time and her heroic, quick and unselfish actions in responding to this life-threatening situation, the driver may not have survived.
Trooper Komorek and 200 Club President Mike Lawrence
The Two Hundred Club of Jacksonville continues to be operated for the purpose of providing immediate financial assistance to help meet the needs of law enforcement and fire and rescue in and around the Jacksonville community in the event of death or other critical emergency. The club was chartered by the state of Florida as a non-profit, charitable organization for the purpose of providing immediate financial assistance and support to families of police, fire and rescue, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the event of death or serious injury in the line of duty. To find out more about the 200 Club of Jacksonville, visit 200clubjax.org.