HELENA — Governor Greg Gianforte on Tuesday presented a Shelby officer a Meritorious Service Award for her heroic life-saving actions following a four-vehicle crash that happened on May 3rd, 2021.
“I was just thinking about making sure everybody was safe and controlling the scene, trying to put out the fire if I could. If not, get everybody out and make sure they are far enough away that they can be safe,” said Sara Lubke, a Motor Carrier Services Officer for the Montana Department of Transportation.
Corporal Lubke was the first on the scene of a the crash north of Conrad on I-15 involving two semi trucks and two passenger vehicles. She tried to subdue the fire before realizing there was a passenger trapped in the backseat of one of the vehicles. Lubke grabbed the passenger and pulled the person out before the vehicle was engulfed in flames.
“Tragically, there were two fatalities as a result of the crash,” said Gianforte. “There is no doubt that Corporal Lubke’s actions saved others from that same tragic fate.”
“My thinking is, I was just doing my job. But it is nice to get recognized,” said Lubke.
Family and co-workers were present to see Lubke receive her award.
Her supervisor also witnessed the proud moment. “To see one of our own, especially Motor Carrier Services officers, do something like that. It just makes you very proud for her and also for the agency,” says Jim Kinsey, Motor Carrier Services Captain in Great Falls. “I mean any agency would be proud of her to watch someone like that do a heroic effort to save the lives of those people."