LITTLE ROCK, AR - For the first time since the accident, a Jacksonville police officer talks about his recovery after a car plowed into him while on the job trying to rescue a woman who drove into a ditch.
Tonight a fundraiser for that police officer, Daniel Dimatteo, and two others also involved in that accident: firefighter Jason Bowmaster and Fire Captain Donnie Jones, who lost his life.
Local bands kicked the concert fundraiser off to benefit the three families of those Jacksonville first responders. Former American Idol finalist and country star Bucky Covington volunteered his time and talent to raise funds for the families.
Bucky said, "It's for a great cause all proceeds go to an absolutely wonderful thing so that's one of the best parts of this job is being able to do what you want and you get to help a lot of great people in the process."
Jacksonville Fire Captain Donnie Jones lost his life. Firefighter Jason Bowmaster is still in the hospital. Police officer Daniel Dimatteo is recovering from serious injuries after a van ran into all three of them March 19th
as they worked a car accident off Highway 161.
"I don't feel like a hero,” Dimatteo said. “To me the hero is in the hospital bed at Baptist and our fallen captain. Those guys are the heroes."
Organizers of the event, the Help the Good Guys Group, are dedicated to easing the burden for wounded community heroes like Officer Dimatteo.
Dimatteo said, "My wife and I have just received so much outpouring of help and it's overwhelming it's awesome and I'm so honored to be part of the community.
“[I’m] feeling good, a lot of pain, a lot of emotions, not something I'm quite used to and it's a battle day by day."
A battle that will hopefully be a little easier now.
Officer Dimatteo says he's grateful and thankful for all the support from the community and asks for continued prayers for firefighter Jason Bowmaster and the family of Captain Jones.
Bowmaster has had quite a few surgeries but is making progress and will hopefully be released from the hospital soon.
The driver of the vehicle that hit the first responders has been charged with murder.