Officer saves woman’s life during traffic stop

Austin Police Department speak about the lifesaving moment (Frank Martinez/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin police officer is credited with saving the life of a woman he had stopped for using her cellphone. However, it turned out she was choking.

Austin-Travis County EMS Capt. Holly Craghead wrote a commendation letter in which she said, “… had it not been for the quick and exact actions of Officer Clinkscales, the patient would have most certainly had a negative outcome.”

Around 7:45 p.m. on July 5, Senior Police Officer Dustin Clinkscales initiated a traffic stop for what he believed was a cell phone violation. When he approached the driver, Clinkscales saw the woman was unable to speak and realized that she was unable to breathe. He immediately helped her out of the car and performed the Heimlich maneuver.

After several tries, whatever she was choking on became dislodged, and she was able to finally breathe again. The loss of oxygen caused her to faint, and Clinkscales managed to catch her before her head hit the pavement. He called for Austin-Travis County EMS, and the woman was taken to a nearby hospital.

What Officer Clinkscales didn’t know was that the woman he saved was a also a member of the APD family, the daughter of Detective Damon Dunn.

“My daughter she’s very thankful. She says she’s lucky he was there.”

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