Craig police officer Tracy Mendoza honored for saving woman from freezing to death | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig police officer Tracy Mendoza honored for saving woman from freezing to death

Officer Tracy Mendoza of the Craig Police Department, right, receives a life saving award from Chief Jerry DeLong.
Clay Thorp/staff

CRAIG — After spotting something on the ground at Woodbury Park in the early morning hours of Dec. 7 — as temperatures were dipping into the low 20s — Craig Police Department Officer Tracy Mendoza decided to investigate.

What he found was a semi-conscious woman who was unable to communicate verbally.

She was “lightly clothed and extremely cold,” said Police Chief Jerry DeLong, who added that doctors would later say her body temperature was dangerously low.

“She wouldn’t have survived until daylight,” DeLong said.

Mendoza’s investigation of the situation is credited with saving the woman’s life.

He was honored for his actions with a life-saving award, presented before the Craig City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 9.

“We are never sure if you are at the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the right time … you are there, and you are there if somebody needs you. … Thank you for what you do for our community, ” Mayor John Ponikvar said.

Mendoza has been with the Craig Police Department for a little more than two years.

The honor he received Tuesday was the third life-saving award he has earned during his service to the citizens of Craig.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.