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Young Officer's Leg Severed After Collision With Drunk Driver

Associated Press

January 23, 2011

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Police Officer Mike Thornton 27, remains at Brooke Army Medical Center where Police Chief Bill McManus said surgeons were unable to save the young officer’s severed leg.

At about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Thornton had parked his police unit on the upper ramp of I-35 and South Laredo Street. He was assisting a stranded motorist when McManus said a blue extended cab pickup truck crushed the rear of the patrol car where the officer had been standing.

“The officer actually was thrown up in the air,” said McManus.

He said Thornton was holding on to the concrete barrier with his arm when “the two people who he was assisting pulled him back over by his belt.”

Had they not reacted immediately, police believe the officer may have fallen to his death 30 feet below I-35.

McManus said 24-year-old Kevin Balditt of San Antonio, now in police custody, will likely face charges of intoxication assault on a police officer and driving while intoxicated.

Public records show Balditt was convicted of DWI in 2005. After a second arrest in 2007, the charge was dismissed because of insufficient evidence. Balditt also pleaded no contest to a 2008 charge of assault bodily with injury of a family member.

Thornton, who has been assigned to East patrol, becomes the second SAPD officer in three months to be struck by an alleged drunk driver, while helping stranded motorists.

McManus said the first resulted in an officer’s death and now another has lost his leg.

Last October, 25-year-old officer Sergio Antillon, a rookie officer, was critically injured and died a few days later.

McManus said, “It’s frustrating and it’s tragic.”

He said last year SAPD arrested twice as many people than the year before, and still the public and his officers remain at risk from “people who’ve been drinking and get behind the wheel.”

  • Gear_max50


    over 3 years ago


    update on officer

  • Pat2_max50


    over 3 years ago


    My apologies for a mis-statement in my post. The statement should have read "122,000 misdemeanor DWI cases were pending in Texas courts in August 2010". That's what I get for a cut and paste and hasty submit...

  • Cpu_2010_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Prayers to the oficer and his families. I am from San Antonio and know the exact area where the incident occured and thank god those people where there to help. There needs to be tougher regualtions on drunk drivers across the board. It is horrible how lax the laws are.

  • Pat2_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Our prayers go out to you and your familiy officer Thorton. God speed and God bless.

    The Texas Department of Transportation says that in 2009 there were 27,108 alcohol-related crashes in the state that caused 955 deaths and 17,542 injuries. More than 122,000 misdemeanor DWI cases were pending in state district courts in August 2010. In the first week of January 2011, Texas DPS said it arrested 1,106 drivers across the state for driving while intoxicated between Dec. 21 and Jan. 1.

    Now after all that good news, a bill is curerently before the Texas legislature meant to cut into the backlog of DWI cases in the state's courts that would offer deferred adjudication to those arrested for the first time on a DWI offense. This is not the first time this bill has been introduced. Not sure what message it sends out in light of these statistics. (Stats courtesy of Austin American Statesman, TxDOT and Dept. of Public Safety)

  • Herosonpatrol_max50


    over 3 years ago


    My thoughts & prayers go out to you Officer Thornton, so sad to hear about all this.. hang in there & never give up the fight. No one should be out there driving like that. May you be healthy and strong during your recovery & rehab time. Thank you for your service.

  • 20140718_195833-1_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Officer Thornton, you and your family are in my prayers. For the two individuals that pulled Officer Thornton to safety, thank God you were there.

  • 12235_sq90_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Prayers go out to this Officer and family.

  • 19227-clipart-illustration-of-a-black-and-white-coloring-page-of-a-magical-flying-phoenix-bird_max50


    over 3 years ago


    So sad!!! I hate reading stories like this!!! Throw the damn book at him, and never let him drive again!!! that poor officer!!! so young!!! Dont give up, and my prayers are with you and a healthy recovery!!!

    Im so saddened by this!!!

  • Maa_class_badge_max50


    over 3 years ago


    my thoughts and Prayers are with this officer and his family. i too was involved in an auto accident with a DD and a CA Highway Patrolman (who died from his injuries)(photos are in my album). i agree that something needs to be done with all DD even if they are model citizens and first time offenders.....

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Hopefully, this is a big-time slap in the face to anybody who thinks there's nothing wrong with drinking and driving. And yes, there are folks out there who actually believe that.

  • Img_0383_max50


    over 3 years ago


    As an officer who has walked those streets. the most satisfying part of the job was every time that i was able to arrest a drunk driver bc that meant one less one the streets and maybe just maybe I and my family both brothers and sisters in blue and my actual family might make it home to thier loved ones. My prayers goes out to the officer and his families

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Damn drunk driviers. Even after Antillon died, people still can't get it through their thick heads that they aren't the only ones on the road. Drunk drivers make me sick! jims4 is right! the punishment needs to be more than a slap on the wrist, or people will never get it. My prayers are with this officer snd his family.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    My prayers are with you brother. DUI shoud be treated as Attempted Murder as that is what these drunks technically are doing. Getting boozed up and going out on the road is no different from having a loaded weapon in public, everyone near these drunks is a potential victim of homocide. Throw the book at him.

  • 21_max50


    over 3 years ago


    My thoughts and prayers are with you Brother, Stay strong and keep your head up

  • Radio2_max50


    over 3 years ago


    My prayers go out to Officer Thornton.

    Something has to be done with these drunk drivers. This is getting out of hand.

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