MARLBORO, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A teenage girl reunited Friday with the New Jersey police officers who rushed to save her life after a car crash over the summer.
Their efforts were caught on camera.
Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Kniffin was pinned between two SUVs, one of them on fire.
At the Marlboro Police Department, Rebecca got a chance to see the five officers who responded to the scene.
“Crazy. It’s just, like, thanks, you know?” she said.
The officers got more than just a thank you. They were honored for their bravery and heroism.
“It brings tears to your eyes, it really does. That day, we didn’t know what was going to happen to her, and here she is standing here and she’s fine,” Lt. John Loyer told CBS2’s Kevin Rincon.
Loyer and his four fellow officers received medals from the 200 Club and proclamations from local and state leaders, but they say those awards are nothing compared to the feeling of seeing Rebecca here in person.
“All we were thinking about is to get her out safe and however that we can do that, even if we have to put our heads together and do something out of the ordinary, that’s what we’re going to do to make it happen,” Officer Donna Gonzalez said.
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“I’m glad our teamwork was able to get the job done, and I’m happy Rebecca is here today,” Patrolman Robert Kelly said.
“We just helped save a life, and we now get to see her knowing what she went through and all that stuff. Just to see her standing up here, it’s a really great experience for all of us,” Patrolman Colin Murray said.
For Rebecca’s parents, the emotion of the day was a reminder of their long journey.
“She broke multiple bones, she punctured her lungs, she had second-degree burns on her legs,” Rebecca’s father, John Kniffin, said. “Because they acted so fast, she got out of the car before sustaining more and more damage.”
“They literally put themselves in the line of fire to save my child, who they never met before. It’s amazing,” said Rebecca’s mother, Tracy Kniffin.
Rebecca was at the hospital for 15 days after the crash and required multiple surgeries, but you wouldn’t know it as she thanked the men and women who helped save her life.
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