ROUND ROCK (KXAN) — The Round Rock Police Department presented the Heroism Award to a doctor who stopped and helped Officer Charles Whites when Whites was hit by a car in the line of duty.
On February 25, 2018, Whites was diverting traffic on Interstate 35 near U.S. Highway 79 after a pedestrian was hit and killed by a different driver.
His wife Connie Whites remembers him going into work early.
“Normally I’d get up with him, sometimes he’d get up at 5:30, I’d go in and talk to him while he’s getting changed, but he had already gone, so he was called in early,” she said.
Round Rock Police said Whites was hit by a car that was being driven by Raul Martinez.
“I’d laid back down on the sofa to catch a nap,” Connie Whites said. “And that’s when the two officers drove up, and we know what happens when officers drive up.”
Whites suffered a head injury as well as several broken bones and internal injuries. He remained unconscious for several weeks.
About two months after the crash, Whites succumbed to his injuries.
His loved ones are, however, grateful, what Dr. Robert Cinclair did that February day. They believe his actions helped to prolong Whites’ life, giving them time to grieve and to say good bye.
“Huge. We get to talk with everybody,” Connie Whites said. “Everybody gets to talk about their own grief, their own memories, their own stories. We got to share them with each other, and that was huge, absolutely huge.”
Cinclair told KXAN he was driving to work that morning. He is a physician at Seton Medical Center Williamson.
“You could see that they blocked the road off,” he said. “There were lots of police cars, lots of flashing lights up ahead.”
He explained, he saw a car in his peripheral vision driving fast. That car ended up hitting Officer Whites.
Cinclair stopped and went to help.
“Right place at the right time. To try to help out a little bit with some training I thought I would be able to do something until EMS got there,” he said. “Police are out there every day trying to help us. The least we can do is try to help them.”
Cinclair helped to clear Whites’ airway, so the officer could start breathing again.
At Thursday’s award presentation, which took place at the beginning of the Round Rock City Council meeting, Police Chief Allen Banks said, “Dr. Robert Cinclair, by what I believe, was there by God’s hand.”
Cinclair said he still thinks about that day.
“I do. I do,” he said. “With what I do, I do see a loss of life unfortunately from time to time, but this was a little bit different. Seeing a public servant in line of duty, have this happen to him, it’s something that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.”
The man accused of hitting and killing Officer Whites, Raul Martinez, is in the Williamson County Jail. County officials said he will be in court for his next hearing on January 23.
The driver that caused the original crash that killed Amir Azad has not been found.