PALM HARBOR, Fla. — A Palm Harbor Rescue Firefighter who was seriously injured after she was hit by a speeding pickup truck in September while on the job is the department's 2021 Firefighter of the Year.
Lieutenant Ashley White, who was also awarded the Purple Heart, was helping two other drivers the morning of September 22 on U.S. 19 when she was hit. The driver who struck her died following the crash.
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White was released from the hospital seven days after the crash. In October, she said she was recovering well and said the outpouring of support was "amazing."
White has undergone two surgeries, one for extensive trauma to her left leg and one to repair her left arm. Her recovery has been described as nothing short of a miracle.
“Seeing the damage to our apparatus that was done, and knowing that he was driving at a high rate of speed, I agree, it’s somewhat of a miracle,” White said in October.
The Firefighter of the Year title is awarded "to those who have performed outstanding acts, above and beyond that directly benefits the public and the department," PHFR said on Friday.
"She continues to improve each day and works hard on her physical therapy. She is more than determined to walk again and get back to the job," the department said.