ROUND ROCK, Texas — It was a day that changed the lives of many people: Feb. 25, 2018.

That's when a driver hit Round Rock police officer Charles Whites, 63, as he directed traffic away from a crash scene on I-35 near Old Settlers Boulevard.

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Doctor Robert Cinclair, a chief anesthesiologist for Seton Medical Center, saw it happen on his way to work that Sunday morning.

"There were lots of police cars and lots of flashing lights ahead," Dr. Cinclair said. "In my peripheral vision, I saw a car coming up in the left lane, just going fast. Obviously, [he] didn't see or wasn't paying attention. I don't know. He drove and, unfortunately, hit the officer going full speed."

Officer Whites, an 18-year veteran, was in desperate need of help.

"I was worried for him because I knew he got hit hard," Dr. Cinclair said. "I wish it didn't have to happen, but for me to be there was kind of fortuitous 'cause I'm at least a little bit used to the situation."

Using his CPR training, he cleared Officer Whites' airways so he could keep breathing until medics arrived. 

Dr. Cinclair won't call himself a hero, though.

"I would've stopped for anybody, but especially seeing an officer get hurt, I'm definitely going to stop and help," he said.

But Officer Whites' wife, Connie, thinks he's deserving of the title.

"The fact that he did that, put himself in his own legal jeopardy by doing that, that's very selfless," she said.

And it's this selflessness that gave Officer Whites' loved ones what's most important.

"Time for him to go in a more compassionate and respectful way," Connie said.

Officer Whites died from his injures several months later.

On Thursday night at the Round Rock City Council meeting, Connie and Police Chief Allen Banks presented Cinclair with a heroism award.

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"We didn't lose Charles on the interstate that day because of the selflessness of Dr. Cinclair," Chief Banks said.

It's something Dr. Cinclair told KVUE he'd do again.

"Austin's changed a lot. Texas has changed a lot. But we're still Texas, and that's what a good Texan does," he said.

The driver who struck Officer Whites -- Raul Martinez, 55 -- remains in jail as he awaits his trial. Police charged him with intoxication assault and manslaughter.