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Anthony Odering (58) received a District Commander’s Commendation from Southern district commander Superintendent Paul Basham at a Thursday afternoon ceremony for his actions immediately after he was involved in the fatal two-car collision.
On July 29, 2015, he was driving home up Stafford St, when a car failed to give way and careened through the Hope St intersection, In his citation, Supt Basham said Mr Odering immediately went to check on the occupants of the other vehicle, acting with courage and empathy in trying to save the life of passenger Nakita May Strange (18), as she lay lifeless in the wreckage.
In the aftermath of the incident, which also injured the three other passengers, his compassion continued when he attended Ms Strange’s funeral.
"He acted with great courage by getting into the car and attempting to save her life by mouth-to-mouth and chest compressions," Supt Basham wrote.
"He continued this CPR until police arrived and took over.
"Anthony showed extreme empathy and compassion towards the female and considered her family and loved ones, even attending her funeral.
"He continued to keep in touch with her family, and her family fully support him in receiving this recognition."
The incident resulted in Shay Robert Richards being jailed for three years and three months when he appeared in the High Court at Dunedin on charges of reckless driving causing death and three of reckless driving causing injury. Speaking at the scene of the crash yesterday, Mr Odering remembered approaching the car in the immediate aftermath of the crash.
"I reached through to see if I could feel a pulse, but there was none. Mr Odering said he felt he did not do anything extraordinary that day."