People in the News-Trooper Andrew Steen
June 21, 2013
South Dakota Trooper Earns National Honor for Bravery on Duty SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Trooper Andrew Steen of the South Dakota Highway Patrol has been named the American Association of State Troopers 2013 Trooper of the Year following an incident with a suspected drunk driver in which he received critical injuries. Steen, 34, is assigned to the Sioux Falls District of the Highway Patrol. The incident for which he received the honor started when Steen attempted to stop a vehicle for erratic driving in Sioux Falls in the early morning hours of Oct. 17, 2012. The driver fled in her vehicle. Other Highway Patrol troopers and Licoln County Sheriff’s deputies joined to assist in the pursuit. The driver entered a parking lot, where she rammed into Steen’s vehicle before driving into a storefront. Steen was then on foot and attempted to immobilize her vehicle while commanding her to stop. When he realized the driver was headed straight for him, he fired his duty weapon. She drove into Steen, forcing him onto the hood of her vehicle, and then he fell to the ground. Realizing that lives were in danger and an officer was down, deputies also fired upon the driver. She fled the scene and was apprehended nearby. She received two gunshot wounds but survived. Steen suffered a fractured skull, a life-threatening traumatic brain injury, and a severely broken ankle. Doctors said his life was in jeopardy, and his family was told recovery could take several years and may need institutionalized care. Following a medically induced coma, surgery on his ankle, and surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, Steen was released from the hospital on Dec. 14, 2012, just eight weeks and two days after the incident. He left the hospital on crutches, wearing his full South Dakota Highway Patrol uniform and had a police escort to his home. Steen and the deputies were found to be justified in firing their weapons and using lethal force. Steen was nominated for the AAST award by Col. Craig Price, Superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, for extreme courage in a life-threatening situation and for his resiliency and dedication during his hospital stay. Steen also showed great compassion by donating several thousand dollars to another police family in need from the donations he has received. He was among 25 troopers from 18 states nominated for the AAST award. AAST representatives presented Steen with a crystal trophy and a Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm handgun at a joint event of the SDHP and the Minnesota State Patrol on June 13 in Sioux Falls. The AAST Trooper of the Year award is presented annually to a state trooper who exemplified traits of an outstanding law enforcement officer in the previous year. Andrew is the son of Dan and Tricia Steen of Gladbrook.
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