Jul 28, 2014
Mostly Cloudy

Police Officer Hailed for Saving Driver's Life

Doylestown officials praised Officer Jessica Whiteside for saving the life of Suzanne Berry after the car crash that killed Berry's granddaughter, Holly Huynh.

Police Officer Hailed for Saving Driver's Life

It was about 6:45 p.m. on the night before Thanksgiving, and Doylestown police had just been called about a car crash on the Rt. 611 Bypass.

Doylestown Borough Police Officer Jessica Whiteside hurried to the scene.

When she got there, she found a woman trapped in the driver's seat of a crumpled Honda CRV.

The woman wasn't breathing.

Whiteside didn't hesitate.

A certified emergency medical technician, she crawled into the Honda and worked to establish an airway to help the woman breathe.

She succeeded.

And she stayed with the injured woman until paramedics from the Central Bucks Ambulance squad arrived and took over.

The woman, later identified as Suzanne Berry, 55, of Plumstead, was airlifted to Temple University Hospital where she remains today.

Doylestown officials on Monday officially commended Whiteside for her actions that night, actions that at least two of her fellow emergency responders say made the difference between life and death. 

Doylestown Fire Company Capt. Lori Westover wrote the borough a letter praising Whiteside's actions, Doylestown Mayor Libby White said, as did one of the paramedics. Westover was Doylestown Patch's Firefighter of the Month for September.

Berry was gravely injured in the car crash that night, the same crash that killed her 9-year-old granddaughter, Holly Huynh, who was riding in the backseat of the Honda.

Their car was struck by a Ford Mustang which investigators say was speeding at more than 140 miles per hour when it slammed into the back of them near the Broad Street exit of the bypass.

Bucks County prosecutors have charged a Plumstead man, Drew Bodden, with third degree murder, among other charges related to the crash.

Whiteside has been on the Doylestown force for a little over a year, having been hired in September 2011.

She graduated from Quakertown Community High School in 2006, and attended the Montgomery County Community College Municipal Police Academy. She graduated from that program in February 2010.

A short biography submitted to borough officials when she was hired pointed out that she had served with various area ambulance squads and was a certified emergency medical technician.


Related Stories:

  • Mustang Driver Faces Murder Charge
  • DA to Announce Charges in Fatal Crash
  • Services Set for Holly Berry Huynh
  • Groveland Student Identified as Crash Victim
  • UPDATE: Crash now Criminal Investigation
  • Girl Killed in Thanksgiving Eve Crash in Doylestown

Don’t miss updates from Patch!