Former Deputy Meets Boy He Saved From Fire a Decade Earlier

April 14, 2019 Updated: April 14, 2019

More than a decade ago, a former deputy helped rescue a young child from a car fire in Northern California only to reunited with him seemingly by chance.

Chris Thorp was driving with his wife when he spotted a familiar face.

Posted by Chris Thorp on Monday, February 25, 2019

“I muttered, ‘I wonder if that is him.’ Everything about it seemed right. The age, the injuries, the scars. I hadn’t seen him in nearly 13 years, he was 4 years old then, but everything seemed to fit,” he told KTVU in March.

He got out of the vehicle and walked to the teen and his family.

“Is your name Christian?” he recalled asking the teen, who responded in the affirmative.

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“You were in a car fire in Windsor on 101 when you were 5?” Thorp continued. The teen confirmed that he was the boy in question.

“My name is Chris, and I’m one of the ones who pulled you out,” Thorp then recalled to share with the teen.

According to a Facebook post, Thorp explained that because of the meeting, “Sometimes it’s hard not to believe in higher powers” while adding that “right now, is one of those moments.”

The Press Democrat reported in 2007 that three cars had crashed on Highway 101 in Windsor, killing three adults and a toddler. The child, Christian, and his mother were rescued, but the mother later died.

KTVU reported that Thorp was off duty when he saw the crash and was the first to respond.

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“Lt. Rochester, Sgt. Thompson, and I, along with a group of men who stepped up in a time of absolute chaos, did everything we could,” he told the news outlet. “There are no words for the elation for Christian, or the sorrow that despite all our efforts, we could not save his family from the wreckage,” Thorp said.

Christian lost his right arm and leg while suffering third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body.

In seeing the boy again, he described the situation as unreal.

“Here he was … the sole survivor of a crash, that impacted us both in ways I don’t think either of our families truly will ever fully comprehend,” Thorp told KTVU, adding that since the accident, Christian has “done amazing things, and fought tremendous battles. We didn’t touch on too much, but he’s a serious warrior.”

Thorp also gave Christian the Gold Medal of Valor that he had received for saving the boy’s life, adding that it was Christian who deserved it.

He said: “I explained to him he deserved it far more than I ever did, and he was far more brave and a warrior than I ever shall be. He accepted it and, in a lot of ways, I realized I had been merely it’s keeper, until the time came for him to take possession.”

In a Facebook post, Thorp added, “I still don’t know how I feel. Him and his Family are very much a part of me. A part of me has come home, and at the same moment a huge weight has been lifted from my heart. Well, Higher Power….If you are there. Thank You.”

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According to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department, Thorp worked his last shift at the North County Detention Facility in 2018.

“Deputy Thorp served his community for 20 years with the Sheriff’s Office and is now off to bigger and better things. Please join us in congratulating him and wishing him good luck on the next chapter of his life,” it wrote.

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