It's been a long, hard road back for Cranberry police officer injured on job
When the fleeing suspect jumped an interstate guardrail, Cranberry police Cpl. Dan Hahn leapt after him.
He had no idea that a 24-foot drop-off awaited.
“I went straight down, like dead weight,” Hahn said. “I realized it right away. Then I was looking up at six or seven police officers pinning me to the ground, making sure I didn't move.”
More than two years later, Hahn continues to heal from extensive back injuries. He will talk about his recovery on Sunday at the Pittsburgh Officers Down 5K race in South Park, which benefits the Officer Down Memorial Page (odmp.org) and its mission to honor fallen law enforcement officers.
The race coincides with National Police Weekend in Washington. Organizer T.J. Burke, a patrolman with the Sharpsburg Police Department, said the race gives those who cannot travel to Washington a chance to recognize fallen officers.
Burke said the race raised about $5,000 last year, when 200 runners participated. He expects close to 500 runners this year.
Hahn, 50, of Jackson was injured Feb. 14, 2011, while chasing Thomas Booth, 22, of Volant, who died when he fell onto Tollgate Road below.
Booth led officers from five departments on a 20-mile car chase starting in Sewickley Heights. Police used road spikes to stop the chase on northbound Interstate 79 near the Evans City exit, state police said. Booth ran from his car and jumped off the overpass, with Hahn in pursuit.
Hahn has painful muscle spasms and other problems but returned to work in December. He spends 20 hours a week reconstructing and analyzing car crashes.
He recently graduated from using a cane to a walking stick.
“I'm starting to feel human again,” he said. “I'm really trying not to be a victim here.”
Hahn said he will speak to the runners about the importance of perseverance. He and his wife, Fritz, regularly address groups around the region.
“We give all the praise to God,” Hahn said. “Some people don't mind hearing that; some people do. But that's our story.”
He hopes to someday run in the Officers Down 5K.
“I've never been a runner but, absolutely, I'd like to participate,” he said. “To be able to run like that — that would be something.”
Chris Togneri is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5632 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Pedestrian struck, killed by train in Coraopolis
- Millions to travel through Western Pa. during Memorial Day weekend
- DOJ program goal: Increased trust between law enforcement, community
- 9 juveniles charged in connection with opening day disturbance at Kennywood
- Analyst says Pa. senate race leans toward Toomey — because Democrats ‘loathe’ Sestak
- Expert: Penn Hills loan could worsen stability
- Police seize heroin, cash in North Versailles
- Trib wins 12 Golden Quills
- 2 suspects sought in fatal Homestead shooting
- Penn Hills police investigating suspected credit card abuse in school district
- Mixed-income apartments in flourishing East Liberty applauded