Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Law officers earn honors for rescues

July 4, 2001

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— Two Sedgwick County Sheriff's deputies and a Maize police officer will be honored Saturday for bravery in rescuing a suicidal woman and a woman seriously injured in a car accident.

Deputies Darrell Adams and Robert Burkhead will each receive a Citation for Bravery from the U.S. Deputy Sheriff's Assn. The citation has been awarded only once before in the association's history.

Maize Police Officer Doug Prier will receive Sedgwick County's Silver Medal of Valor, the department's second highest award.

Burkhead and Prier worked together on June 18 in a dramatic rescue of a woman who jumped off a bridge over the Arkansas River. When the woman jumped, Burkhead was able to grab her. The momentum carried Burkhead over the railing, leaving him holding onto the woman with one hand while hanging from the bridge with his other hand.

Before she slipped from his fingers, Burkhead managed to swing the woman away from the concrete bridge supports and toward deeper water.

Prier and a civilian, Dwayne Wentworth, pulled Burkhead back onto the bridge. Prier then ran to the riverbank and dived into the water.

Despite wearing almost 30 pounds of equipment, Prier swam to the woman and was able to pull her to shore. She was not seriously injured and was sent for a psychiatric evaluation.

Adams is being recognized for pulling a seriously injured woman out of a burning vehicle on June 14 while he was off duty. He and two civilians, Daniel and Betty Alexander, were able to pull the woman out of the car despite the fire.

The three officers will receive their awards Saturday in the Sedgwick County Courthouse.

Wentworth and the Alexanders will be honored later.

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