Page County deputies honored for saving life

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT
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LURAY, Va. (WHSV) - Three Page County Sheriff’s Deputies were honored this week for their life-saving heroics when responding to a fatal crash. The five-vehicle crash occurred at the intersection of U.S. 340 and Compton Hollow Road on September 21 and left two people dead.

A third person was transported to Winchester Medical Center with serious injuries and likely would not have survived were it not for the efforts of Deputies Heather Hess and Brandon Hilliard, along with Captain Steve Owens.

“I felt that they were very deserving of a life-saving award and I feel that any of our deputies that would have responded would have acted in that way. So I’m really proud of my staff,” said Page County Sheriff Chad Cubbage.

Cubbage honored the three deputies by presenting them with the Page County Sheriff’s Office Life Saving Award.

The Deputies were parked on Compton Hollow Road and searching for another vehicle when they saw the crash happen.

“It happened within a second and time starts to go a little bit faster when things like that happen in front of you,” said Deputy Heather Hess.

Hess said as soon as the crash happened she and her fellow deputies went to begin helping those involved. At that point, they heard someone inside a FedEx truck that was smashed in on the sides and on fire.

“We were pulling on the back of the door, it was locked from the inside. At some point he was able to hear us, he unlocked the door and we pulled him down before the flames went up,” said Hess.

Sheriff Cubbage said he is very proud of his deputies for their quick thinking in the face of a horrific accident.

“The deputies take an oath to protect the citizens of this county, and that day a life was saved by their quick actions and their courage in going into a vehicle that was engulfed in flames to make sure they could try to render aid to the people that were there,” said Cubbage.

Deputy Hess said she is grateful for all the support she has gotten from the community and other officers in the aftermath of the crash.

“I got a ton of phone calls and texts asking if I was ok and then of course we get offers for counseling. So it’s been great support from the community and other agencies and I really appreciate that,” she said.

Sheriff Cubbage emphasized the importance of providing that support to deputies after responding to scenes like the September 21 crash.

“We are human and anytime you deal with something like this you go from zero to a hundred miles an hour really quick. That adrenaline is running and then you come off of that and it’s difficult. Those are things you see for days so we offer counseling if they need and whatever they need to make sure they get through it,” he said.