FOX 4 News photo of DPD officer comforting baby goes viral
A photo taken and tweeted by a FOX 4 News photographer has gone viral.
The image shows a Dallas police officer comforting a 3-month-old baby who had just survived a rollover accident. It has drawn praise from many in law enforcement saying it shows a side of police the public does not often see.
Photojournalist Sam Hernandez regularly reports on accidents, but he noticed something different happening on this scene and captured it.
Amid the wreckage of a car overturned on the edge of Downtown Dallas over the weekend was a DPD Officer Donald Boice singing to and bouncing a baby.
"The comments on the call sheet were that the vehicle had overturned and there were multiple children trapped inside the car,” he recalled.
Officer Boice was at the scene of a fatal crash around 5 a.m. Sunday morning when he heard about another major crash the sheriff's office was working nearby, at the Commerce Street exit off Stemmons freeway.
"Honestly, my thoughts were just, 'Please, God. Not another one tonight,’” he recalled.
Boice is not with the sheriff's office. He didn't have to respond to the wreck. But he says he couldn’t help himself since he is a father to three boys.
“At that point, you kind of go from cop to parent real quick,” he said.
By the time Boice got on scene, he says witnesses to the crash had already removed the children, ages 5, 2 and 3 months old, from the Chevy Trailblazer.
A sheriff's office report says the parents and their children were traveling at a high rate of speed when they hit an object in a construction zone, causing the car to flip. Boice says the father fractured his arm and injured his head.
"Both parents were screaming, ‘Please don't let my baby die. Please don't let my babies die,’” he recalled.
That's when Boice triaged the kids and made sure they were alright. He shielded them from the chaos but still kept them in the mother's line of sight from the ambulance. He picked up the youngest child named Jackson.
"The best I can do is just kind of keep him, bounce him, sing to him the same songs that I sang to my kids when they were that age,” the officer said.
Hernandez noticed Boice with the baby and captured it. He tweeted several photos of a serene moment of comfort in the midst of flashing lights and mangled metal.
It didn't take long for Dallas police officers to start retweeting Hernandez’s pictures, giving people a look at the side of law enforcement not often seen.
"That could be my child, too,” Boice said. “And I'd want someone treating my child the same way."
The Dallas County Sheriff's Office says the family is from Michigan. The officer says the fact that the children are unharmed is a testament to their car seats working.