LAPD officer meets Fullerton officers who saved his life

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
LAPD officer meets Fullerton officers who saved his life
Officer Nicholas Wiltz with the Los Angeles Police Department meets the Fullerton officers who saved his life after a motorcycle crash.

FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) -- More than two months after an crash sent him to the hospital in grave condition, a rookie Los Angeles police officer put his uniform back on.

It's a day 25-year-old Nicholas Wiltz said he's been looking forward to.

"Feel part of that family again, because it really is a family, being a police officer, it's an amazing feeling," Wiltz said.

On Aug. 22, Wiltz was riding his motorcycle in Fullerton while off-duty when he collided with a car at the intersection of Commonwealth and Basque avenues.

The car's driver stopped and called for help. The Fullerton police department later said it was just a terrible accident.

Cpl. Madison Wilkerson arrived at the scene first.

"Just noticed that one of his extremities, was detached, from his leg," Wilkerson recalled.

Wilkerson's partner, Officer Michael Halverson grabbed a hobble, typically used to restrain a suspect, and used it as a make-shift tourniquet.

Officer Timothy Gibert arrived and used his training from a traumatic injury class by fastening a tourniquet to slow the bleeding.

Halverson even held the make-shift tourniquet tight when it wouldn't lock, until paramedics arrived.

"I'm going to put everything on him that I can and do everything that I can to save him," Gibert said.

"I did what any cop would've done and I just thought to myself, 'I'm not going to let go,'" Halverson said.

Doctors said Wiltz was in grave condition. But, after more than 20 surgeries and two months in the hospital, he continues to recover after his left leg was amputated.

On Monday, he received a rare chance to thank the men who saved his life.

"Amazing group of guys right here," said Wiltz. "And what they did was truly heroic."

The LAPD honored the three heroes during a ceremony. The Fullerton trio said Wiltz was already part of their law enforcement family, now he means even more to them.

"That made my entire career just to see him today," Wilkerson said.

"He'll always be part of my family and I guarantee he and I will see a lot of each other after this," Halverson said.

Wiltz is continuing physical therapy with hopes of returning to duty.