Denver SWAT police officer Sgt. Justin Dodge had a below-the-knee amputation after a fire truck rolled over his leg during the celebratory parade for the Denver Nuggets’ NBA championship win last month, according to the Denver Police Department.
Dodge was walking along the front passenger side of the Tower 15 fire engine, which carried Nuggets players and team owners Stan and Josh Kroenke, at 13th Avenue and Cherokee Street during the parade on June 15.
Fans then made their way past the barrier onto the street during the parade route, distracting Dodge, Denver police Chief Ron Thomas said at a news conference. Dodge was attempting to protect the fans from the moving vehicle when he was struck by the fire truck.
On behalf of everyone across Colorado, I wish Sgt. Justin Dodge of the @DenverPolice, a speedy recovery. Dodge was struck by a fire truck while protecting fans during the Nuggets parade, and we are keeping him and his family in our hearts as he continues to recover. pic.twitter.com/U3yG7pY7aB
— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) July 12, 2023
Colorado State Patrol Maj. Brandon Means, a friend of Dodge’s, told 9NEWS that Dodge was rushed to Denver Health, where he had three surgeries before he was released. The emergency medical procedure included a skin graft.
During a follow-up appointment, doctors decided he needed the amputation in a fourth surgery. Means said Dodge received the surgery on Friday and was released from the hospital Monday night.
“He has not complained one time about this,” Means said. “My heart sunk because we’re so close and everybody respects this guy. We love this guy. … We’re raising money for Justin and his family.”
Denver SWAT police officer Sgt. Justin Dodge, who had his leg rolled over by a fire truck during the Denver Nuggets’ NBA championship parade, underwent leg amputation procedure
“On behalf of everyone across Colorado, I wish Sgt. Justin Dodge of the Denver Police, a speedy recovery,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis tweeted Wednesday.
A website titled “sgtjustindodge.com” was created for people to donate to the Denver Police Foundation and contribute to his recovery. Of course, the proceeds go directly to Sgt. Justin Dodge and his family. Dodge’s family also shared the following message:
“We cannot express how full our hearts are with the love, support, prayers, and concern that has been shown to our family. Please forgive us if we have not responded to your texts, emails, or messages. We have read every one and have been thankful for them all even if we have not responded directly.
Sad to hear @denverpolice Sgt. Justin Dodge had is leg amputated today. Video I shot shows him trapped under a Denver Fire truck during the @nuggets championship celebration. Help Sgt. Dodge https://t.co/WVODbVx2wv pic.twitter.com/opnCOWmQoa
— Brian Willie (@bwillie) July 10, 2023
“Despite how trying the last several weeks have been, it is only when we think about this outpouring of concern that we have been overtaken and overwhelmed with emotion and gratefulness. While a thank you is not sufficient to repay your kindness, thank you, nonetheless.”
The Denver Nuggets won their first NBA championship in five games of the 2023 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. It was Denver’s first title in its 47-year history. The parade was held three days after clinching the series in Game 5. The team’s pre-parade rally lasted approximately two hours.