Ex-Chief Nelson Awarded 200 Club Valor Award

Congratulations to Ex-Chief Christopher Nelson and his fellow Pequannock Township Police Officers Kenneth R. Hunt, Jack Lyon and Kevin E. Ricciardi on their Valor Awards. They are among the thirty-nine Morris County First-Responders who will be Honored for Bravery By the 200 Club of Morris County on April 28, 2016.

The Incident

Pequannock Township Police Officers Kenneth R. Hunt, Jack Lyon, Christopher S. Nelson and Kevin E. Ricciardi will receive Awards of Valor for their desperate attempts to free a man from a burning car. The incident began with a minor car crash. When officers arrived to investigate, the driver, who appeared to be disoriented, took off from the first crash scene and led police on a chase. At one point in the chase, the driver crossed the line and slammed head-on into an on-coming car, which burst into flames.

Fighting off the intensifying flames with their fire extinguishers, the officers attempted to free the heavily entrapped man. Unable to do so, they continued to try to keep the flames away and rendered what care they could. The man was finally freed by the Wayne Township Fire Department and taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Nelson is not the first Mendham Fire Department member to be honored by The 200 Club. In 2004, Firefighter William Taquinto and (then) Firefighter Richard DeNicola, as well as First Aid Rescue Squad members Steve Pontiakas and Paula Oswald were honored with Meritorious Service Awards for their actions on January 12, 2003.

Read the complete 200 Club press release for a complete list of those who will be honored on 200clubofmorriscounty.com.

Complete coverage of the October 22, 2015 incident can be found on nj.com.

In the picture: Five Pequannock police officers and a police dispatcher were recognized by their Township on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 for their heroic efforts on October 22, to save the victim of a fiery fatal crash. Pictured left to right: Sgt. Robert Brown, Patrol Officer Kenneth Hunt, Patrol Officer Kevin Ricciardi, Chief Brian Spring, Patrol Officer Jack Lyon, Patrol Officer Christopher Nelson and Dispatcher Jerome McMahon. Photo credit: Pequannock Police Department.