On Monday, February 27, 2012, Deputy Sheriff D.J. Clay was awarded the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Medal of Distinction for his actions at the scene of a fiery car crash. The Medal of Distinction is the next to highest citation one can receive at the Sheriff’s Office.
On December 29, 2011, at approximately 10:30 p.m., a traffic crash occurred at the intersection of U.S. 90 East and McCloskey Ave. Deputy D.J. Clay responded to the call to discover an Oldsmobile with heavy front end damage and flames coming from the engine compartment. Deputy Clay realized that the driver was trapped in the vehicle due to the crash damage. Deputy Clay retrieved a fire extinguisher from his patrol car and deployed it on the engine fire. The fire was temporarily suppressed enough to allow Deputy Clay to free the trapped driver and carry him to safety. Less than a minute after rescuing the driver, the vehicle was engulfed in flames.
Without Deputy Clay’s quick response and decisive actions, the driver may have suffered significant burn injuries or death. Deputy Clay’s actions allowed the driver to make a full recovery.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is proud to award Deputy D.J. Clay with the Medal of Distinction and to recognize his willingness to put the life of a citizen above his own safety. Deputy Clay epitomizes the dedication to duty shared by all of the members of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.