Shelby officer awarded Meritorious Service for her life-saving actions in a vehicle crash

The crash included four vehicles.
Lubke Recognition
Posted at 5:01 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 10:18:49-04

HELENA — Governor Greg Gianforte awarded a Shelby officer a Meritorious Service Award for her heroic life-saving actions in a multiple vehicle accident 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,” says Sara Lubke, a Motor Carrier Services Officer for the Montana Department of Transportation.

Corporal Sara Lubke was the first on the scene of a multiple-vehicle crash north of Conrad on I-15 involving two semi trucks and two passenger vehicles. She quickly tried to subdue the fire before realizing a stuck passenger in the backseat of one of the passenger vehicles. Officer Lubke grabbed the passenger before the vehicle engulfed in flames.

“Tragically, there were two fatalities as a result of the crash,” says Governor Gianforte. “There is no doubt that Corporal Lubke’s actions saved others from that same tragic fate.”

Governor Gianforte awarded Corporal Lubke the Meritorious Service Award for her heroic actions that day.

“My thinking is, I was just doing my job. But it is nice to get recognized,” says Officer Lubke.

Family and co-workers were on hand to see Officer 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."