March 12, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia Department of Corrections officer is being praised for coming to the aid of four young people in an overturned car in a creek during a snowstorm.
The department says Officer Willie Thompson was heading home after finishing his Feb. 17 shift at the Harrisonburg Men's Detention Center in Rockingham County.
Thompson had stopped to remove a vehicle's bumper from a road when he heard screaming coming from below a bridge. He discovered four young people in the car and helped three of them up the bank and into his vehicle.
Thompson stayed with the fourth victim, who remained trapped and was suffering from hypothermia. Rescue workers extracted her from the car and all four survived.
Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke says Thompson demonstrated physical courage and valor.