Will Jimeno

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William J. Jimeno
Port Authority Police Department (PAPD)
Born (1967-11-26) November 26, 1967 (age 46)
Nickname(s) Will
Badge number 1117
Place of birth Barranquilla, Colombia
Years of service 2000 - 2004
Rank 2000 - Commissioned as a Police Officer
Awards Port Authority Police Department Medal of Honor
Relations Married, 2 children

William J. Jimeno (born November 26, 1967) is a Port Authority Police officer who survived the September 11 attacks. He was buried under the rubble for a total of 13 hours, but survived, along with fellow Port Authority officer John McLoughlin.

Early life and education[edit]

Jimeno was born in 1967 in Colombia but immigrated to New York City as a boy with his family.


At the time of the attacks, he was a rookie cop assigned to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. He saw the shadow of the airplane that seconds later hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He rode to the WTC site with 20 other Port Authority police officers in a commandeered bus.[1]

The collapse of the South Tower trapped Jimeno and three other Port Authority officers, led by Sgt. McLoughlin, under the Concourse between the twin towers. Only Jimeno and McLoughlin survived. Dominick Pezzulo survived the initial collapse but was killed by the collapse of the North Tower while he was trying to free Jimeno.

A USA Today account observed:

Sometimes they yelled for help. But mostly the 46-year-old sergeant, a 21-year veteran, and the 32-year-old [sic] rookie talked intimately, sometimes revealing personal things — about kids, families, feelings — that they had never shared with anyone. Jimeno asked the Sergeant to deliver a message over the radio to his wife, Allison, who was seven months pregnant. They had received no response earlier, but he thought maybe their radio call would be picked up on a police tape recording. "Attention," Sgt. McLoughlin announced, "Officer Jimeno requests that his baby girl be named Olivia." His wife had liked the name. He hadn't been so sure. Now, as he prepared to die, he wanted to think of his baby girl, Olivia.[1]

The two men were located and extricated after former U.S. Marines Sergeant Jason Thomas and Staff Sergeant Dave Karnes heard their cries for help. Both survivors, especially McLoughlin, were severely injured. They required several surgeries and months of hospitalization for recovery and rehabilitation. On June 11, 2002, McLoughlin (with a walker) and Jimeno (with a limp) walked across a stage at Madison Square Garden to receive the Port Authority's Medal of Honor.[2]

Their entrapment and rescue were portrayed in the 2006 Oliver Stone film World Trade Center, with Jimeno portrayed by Michael Peña.

On January 2, 2008, Jimeno appeared on the television game show Deal or No Deal and won $271,000. Also appearing on the show were students from Anderson High School of Austin, Texas, whose teacher uses the Stone film to inspire his students.

See also[edit]