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Off-duty Greenfield officer tried to save man's life in I-43 crash

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 03, 2018

An off-duty Greenfield Police officer jumped into action to try and save a man's life in a tragic New Year's crash. 

The accident happened just before 2 a.m. on New Year's Day on I-43 south of Silver Spring Drive, killing the 28-year-old driver. 

Greenfield Officer James Enters drove past the crash scene seconds after it happened and says he immediately reversed his car and went to help. 

Enters had just left a New Year's Eve celebration when he saw the crash. 

"When we reached the vehicle, we saw the driver was unconscious and did kind of your initial medical assessment," he said. 

Another man who witnessed the accident also stopped to help and assisted Enters. 

"Just a regular civilian that had the courage to get up there with me," Enters said. "He was amazing. Anything I asked him to do, he did it immediately." 

According to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, the car likely hit the median and then rolled over as it went up an embankment. 

Because of how badly damaged the car was, Enters says he couldn't get the driver's side door open, so he started CPR on the driver through the window. 

"I didn't do anything more than any other first responder would have done," he said. "Any one of my coworkers that would have seen that vehicle wouldn't have thought twice to act on it." 

He said he gave the man CPR for about five minutes waiting for deputies and paramedics to arrive. After that, paramedics with North Shore Fire took over. 

Despite their efforts, the man was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later. Deputies identified him as Jose Ortiz-Hernandez and said he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. 

"I believe that God put that civilian and I there for a reason and obviously it wasn't the outcome we wanted to see," Enters said. "I think we at least, in the very least, gave that victim a chance of surviving." 

The sheriff's office says it's still waiting on blood test results to determine if any other factors played a role in the crash. 

According to the CDC, more than half of people who died in traffic accidents in 2015 were not wearing seatbelts.