Potawatomi Nation officer to get Medal of Valor after rescuing OHP pilot from plane crash

SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) -- The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Police Department is planning to honor an officer who helped rescue an Oklahoma Highway Patrol pilot from a plane crash.

Officer Jody Opela will be awarded the Medal Valor on Friday in Shawnee.

Opela helped pull OHP pilot Dennis Dickens from the wreckage of his plane after the aircraft crashed and caught fire in Pottawatomie County while pursuing a suspect. The highway patrol says Dickens is recovering from serious injuries he suffered in the crash.

The ceremony is to begin at 3 p.m. Friday at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center in Shawnee and is to include officials with the OHP.

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