Several University of Alabama football team doctors were the first to offer aid to an LSU police officer Saturday night after he was injured when a vehicle struck the motorcycle he was riding.
The officer, Sgt. Christopher Gresham, 33, was helping to escort a motorcade of University of Alabama officials and team doctors to the airport just before midnight when the wreck occurred, LSU Police said.
At the time, the police officers were using lights and sirens to guide the convoy through contraflow traffic and away from Tiger Stadium, said Cpl. Don Coppola Jr., a Baton Rouge police spokesman.
Gresham, an eight-year veteran of the LSU Police Department, was driving north in the southbound lane on Nicholson Drive just before the crash. As the motorcade approached Terrace Street, a vehicle headed north in Nicholson’s northbound lane began to turn left in front of the traffic in the southbound lane — also headed north because of contraflow — which is when the vehicle struck Gresham, Coppola said.
Police cited the driver for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. Neither the vehicle’s driver nor its passengers were seriously injured in the crash, Coppola said.
Gresham suffered serious injuries in the crash. As of Wednesday evening, he remained hospitalized in stable condition, LSU police spokesman Capt. Cory Lalonde said.
“On behalf of the LSU Police Department, we want to express our gratitude to the doctors who attended to Sgt. Gresham at the scene of the traffic crash until EMS personnel could arrive,” Lalonde said in a statement. “We sincerely appreciate their efforts.”
Dr. Lyle Cain, the head orthopedic surgeon for Alabama’s football team, said he was one of the four doctors riding in the motorcade.
Although Cain didn’t witness the crash, he and the other doctors exited their vehicle to provide first aid almost immediately after the crash occurred. The doctors weren’t carrying medical equipment, but they were able to go through basic trauma protocol to help the officer until Baton Rouge EMS arrived and took him to a hospital.
Cain said doctors are trained to help any way they can, and he and the other doctors were glad they could provide assistance.
“We certainly appreciate what the LSU police officers were doing for us,” Cain said.
Lalonde, the LSU Police spokesman, said they typically provide escorts for visiting teams and other visitors that need assistance following football games.
Other than Cain, the other doctors who responded to the injured officer were Dr. Marc Biggers, Dr. Norman Waldrop and Dr. Benton Emblom.
Cain said the four doctors work at the Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama, which renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, an LSU alumnus, helped create.
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