Trooper Nicole Maenza Receives Bronze Star for Meritorious Service and Heroism
The Superintendent of the Indiana State Police Douglas Carter and the Indiana State Police Board awarded Indiana State Police Lowell Post Trooper Nicole Maenza a Bronze Star today, October 26th, in Indianapolis. The Bronze Star is awarded for exceptional meritorious service and heroism she displayed in a life threatening situation where she put her life in jeopardy to save the life of another. On Wednesday, March 7th, 2018, Maenza was on duty working the midnight shift on the south bound Cline Avenue to I-80/94 east bound ramp investigating multiple crashes. The ramp was snow covered and slick and becoming inundated with cars that were crashing at interstate speeds. As Maenza was working one of these crashes she saw a Ford Expedition that had crashed further down the ramp into the sound barrier wall. Trooper Maenza immediately started towards the Expedition to check on the occupants’ possible injuries. Two gentlemen emerged from the Expedition and Maenza assessed them for injuries. She advised the two gentlemen to return to their vehicle for safety reasons until more assistance could arrive at the scene. It was at that time that a Hyundai Sonata traveled out of control and struck Trooper Maenza and the two gentlemen. One of the more severely injured gentlemen later wrote in a note of appreciation that he remembers Maenza grabbing him to warn him of the impending vehicle impact just before getting hit, which in hindsight he believed probably saved him from serious bodily injury. When assisting troopers arrived it was said that Maenza was unaware of the severity of her injuries and was still expressing concern for the other two occupants involved in this crash. Trooper Maenza and the two gentlemen were taken to a local hospital where Maenza was admitted for non-life threatening injuries.
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