School Board honors heroic De Anza High employee

School Board honors heroic De Anza High employee
Michael Kelly (right) and his son Jacob Espino (left) are grateful for the heroic actions of Security Officer Andre Krashna at De Anza High in October 2016.

by Zach Chouteau

The West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) Board of Education honored Security Officer Andre Krashna at Richmond’s Lovonya Dejean Middle School Wednesday for his courageous leap into action last fall that helped save a student and his father following a horrific crash.

The WCCUSD’s Ken Whittemore, assistant superintendent, human resources, presented Krashna with a plaque of recognition for his deeds, which took place outside of Richmond’s De Anza High School last Oct. 25.

A driver reportedly going well over the speed limit ran a red light and brutally sideswiped Michael Kelly’s 1993 Chevy Silverado. Kelly’s truck careened sideways and he was knocked out, with both he and his son Jacob Espino pinned into the vehicle by the impacted metal. To make matters worse, the truck began smoldering with fire.

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Krashna was handed a fire extinguisher by De Anza Custodian Candace Zaragoza and sprang into action, snuffing the flames and quickly extricating Espino from the coach of the Chevy; this was followed immediately by the careful removal of the more significantly wounded Kelly.

Espino, who has just completed his sophomore year at De Anza, escaped serious harm. Kelly, who continues striving toward complete recovery from a fractured pelvis, credits Krashna with saving their lives. Kelly was on hand with his wife and son Wednesday evening as the courageous security guard was honored for his selfless heroism. Krashna received a standing ovation from the room, and it’s hard to imagine a more-deserved one.

“It felt really good,” Krashna told the Standard of receiving the recognition. “It’s pretty unheard of for a security guard to be honored this way.”

And while Krashna has served the WCCUSD in a variety of positions over the past two decades, it was his recent role of on-the-spot hero that has earned him the greatest acclaim.