It wasn’t the first time Dave Mack has gotten his arm pinched in the name of a good cause, but Thursday’s blood drive at the in honor of Cpl. Dan Hahn held special meaning for him.
“He’s one of our guys,” said Mack, a volunteer with the just before it was his turn to donate. “We know Cpl. Danny Hahn really well.”
Hahn, a veteran Cranberry Township police officer, was after a high-speed car chase that started in Sewickley Heights and involved police from a half-dozen police departments.
The chased ended on Interstate 79 in Jackson Township after the driver, Thomas Booth, got out of his car and jumped over a highway overpass in an attempt to escape police. Hahn followed, and both fell more than 20 feet to the ground.
Booth, 22, died from his injuries. A medical helicopter flew Hahn to Pittsburgh’s Allegheny General Hospital, where he had surgery for injuries to his neck and back.
Doctors initally put him into a , but Hahn today is awake and at a rehabilitation center.
He has lost none of his trademark humor since the accident, said Jan Andree, wife of township manager Jerry Andree.
“He’s hilarious,” she said. “He always has something to say.”
Andree, who donated blood, said she has known Hahn and his wife, Mary, since she and her husband moved to Cranberry in 1991.
“Danny was probably one of the first people we met,” she said.
Debbie Ambrass, another friend of the Hahn family, said she was happy to donate blood in the officer’s name.
"It’s special,” she said. “We would do anything for Danny.”
Others, such as Crescent Township police officer Martin Zimmel, had never met Hahn -- but that didn’t stop them from donating.
“It was nice to do this for a brother officer,” Zimmel said. “It’s the least I can do while he recovers.”
Retired state trooper Peter Vogel also came to Thursday’s event to help a fellow law enforcer.
“Danny’s a friend of mine – any policeman is,” he said. “It’s the least you could do for someone who did what he did.”
By 1 p.m. 33 people had signed up to donate blood, many of them local firefighters, police officers and other township employees.
“It’s think it’s great,” said Jeff Schueler, Cranberry’s director of public safety. “I think we got a lot more people than expected.”
Next up is a spaghetti dinner to benefit Hahn and his family scheduled for 3-7 p.m. at Oldenski Hall inside St. Ferdinand Church in Cranberry. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The suggested donation is $6.
For more information, visit the township website.