SALISBURY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Salisbury officer is being recognized on the national level after rescuing an unconscious truck driver from a burning tractor-trailer on I-85 this year.
On Wednesday, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund announced Lieutenant Corey Brooks of the Salisbury Police Department as the ‘Officer of the Month’ for Aug. 2023.
“Lt. Brooks’s remarkable act of heroism in rescuing a non-responsive truck driver from a burning tractor-trailer on the interstate highway has earned him this well-deserved recognition, ” the NLEOMF said in a written statement.
The heroic rescue happened shortly before 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, when Lt. Corey Brooks responded after hours to a separate incident. During his response, he saw an 18-wheeler hit a retaining wall and catch fire.
Police said without hesitation, Brooks stopped and ran into the truck’s cab and found the driver unconscious; from that point, he called the incident in over the radio but immediately sprung into action.
Video shows Brooks pulling out of the driver’s seat, freeing him from the burning vehicle. Another unidentified woman helped drag the driver to safety on the opposite side of the road.
As EMS arrived, the driver began to gain consciousness, though he was unaware of the situation; officers say he could walk onto the ambulance alone and was rushed to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital.
“Brooks has more than 24 years of experience in law enforcement, beginning his career with the East Spencer Police Department,” a spokesperson told QCN. “He was hired by SPD in 2001 as a patrol officer and continued to rise through the ranks.”
“Lieutenant Corey Brooks’s selfless actions exemplify the highest standards of law enforcement and service to the community,” Bill Alexander, Chief Executive Officer of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, said in a written statement. “His courage and quick thinking in the face of danger are nothing short of heroic.”
The police department advised Brooks has received several allocates throughout his tenure, which include the Salisbury Keys to Excellence Bronze Award, Salisbury Police Veteran Officer of the Year, the 2016 Blue Line Brother Hood Award, and the Lions Club Salisbury Police Veteran of the Year award.