Share This Page

Cranberry officer back on duty

| Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:55 p.m.
Cranberry Journal
Cranberry police Cpt. Dan Hahn has started back to work on light duty following an accident on the job nearly two years ago. Submitted

During nearly two years of painful recovery, Cranberry police Cpl. Dan Hahn never doubted that he would heal enough to rejoin the force.

“My wife wouldn't let me lose hope,” said Hahn, 49, of Jackson, who returned to work last week.

“I had days where I felt worse than others and wondered how I would get through that day, but for the most part, I knew I was going to come back to work somehow.”

Hahn broke his back, sternum and ribs, and he suffered a concussion on Feb. 14, 2011, when he fell 24 feet off an overpass while chasing Thomas Booth, 22, of Volant in Lawrence County.

Cranberry Public Safety Director Jeff Schueler said the department is working with Hahn's doctors to determine an appropriate workload. Hahn is on light duty three days a week for four hours a day, focusing on administrative projects, Schueler said.

“We are extremely happy that he's come this far,” Schueler said. “His passion and drive to return to work has been phenomenal. I think that was a lot of what kept him going — to fight his injuries and be able to return to work.”

Booth led police on a 20-mile, high-speed chase through Butler County after Sewickley Heights police approached him while investigating a report of a drunken driver. Booth got out of the car on Interstate 79 near the Evans City exit and jumped off the bridge, falling to his death.

Hahn, a 21-year-veteran, jumped after him.

He was in an induced coma for 16 days after the fall, and he used a wheelchair for about a year.

“It's been basically one surgery after another,” Hahn said. “I had to learn how to walk, how to stand, how to sit. I had to learn how to do all that stuff again.”

Hahn, who uses a cane when he leaves the house, said he is in pain some days.

“It varies day to day,” he said. “But I have more good days than bad days. I feel if I just get out there and move around and keep moving, I'll be all right.”

Schueler said Hahn, an accident reconstructionist, will work with the township's engineering department to help identify problem areas along roadways and help with record management and other projects.

“It's going to be a lot of administrative stuff,” Hahn said. “It feels great to be back. I was excited about getting back. It's been a long time, so I really, really wanted to get myself back and try to get some normalcy put back in my life.”

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 ormharding@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.