Tow truck driver honored for pulling Harris Co. Pct. 8 deputy from burning vehicle

A tow truck driver was recognized for taking life-saving action when a Harris County Pct. 8 deputy's patrol vehicle caught on fire after a crash last month.

On Tuesday, Richard Borgstrom was presented with recognition awards by Precinct 8 Constable Phil Sandlin, Harris County Toll Road Authority Executive Director Roberto Trevino, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

RELATED: Deputy constable's vehicle catches fire after crash; 3 injured

Precinct 8 Deputy Kiana LeMelle was injured in a crash in the 1300 block of the East Sam Houston Parkway over San Augustine Street around 2 a.m. July 26.

The constable’s office says she was parked in the shoulder of the roadway monitoring traffic when a commercial vehicle veered onto the shoulder and struck her patrol vehicle from behind. Her vehicle caught fire.

Authorities say Borgstrom was nearby, heard the collision and came to help the deputy who was trapped inside of her patrol vehicle.

Borgstrom broke a window to pull Deputy LeMelle out moments before the flames reached the driver's cabin, the constable's office said.


"Mr. Borgstrom, who without regard for his own personal safety, did not hesitate to act in a life-threatening situation. His efforts undoubtedly saved Deputy LeMelle’s life, and we are forever grateful for his actions that night," Constable Sandlin said.

Deputy LeMelle was taken to the hospital. Officials said her injuries were not life-threatening, and she was released from the hospital later that day.

Two people in the other vehicle also sustained minor injuries, authorities said.