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TRINITY COUNTY TxDOT EMPLOYEE GIVEN STATE AWARD

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Oct. 13, 2016

LUFKIN – A Trinity County TxDOT Maintenance employee is a recipient of the Texas Department of Transportation’s Extra Mile Award after he helped a woman who was trapped in floodwaters recently.

Terry King, a contract inspector with the TxDOT Lufkin District, was honored with the award this week at the 90th Annual Transportation Short Course in College Station hosted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The award is given each year to TxDOT employees who go above and beyond what is expected in stressful situations to help others. Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan and TxDOT Executive Director James Bass presented King with the award.

King was monitoring FM 1280 at Gayle Creek near Lovelady during a spring flood when an elderly woman approached the rising water in a small SUV. King advised the woman not to drive through the water, but she made the decision to attempt to maneuver through the rising water. The SUV was quickly washed from the roadway into a ditch where it became wedged against a fence.

The woman exited her vehicle and was barely able to stand in the rushing water. Seeing her stumble, King quickly positioned his TxDOT truck on the centerline of FM 1280 and exited his vehicle, wading into waist-deep water before reaching the woman. Pushing through the water himself, he took her by the arm, and helped her to the nearby TxDOT vehicle. He was then able to drive his TxDOT vehicle out of the water. The woman was uninjured and her car was towed from the scene.

Lufkin District Engineer Cheryl Flood said she is proud of King and other district employees who display courage and commitment.

This past spring was extremely wet and kept our maintenance personnel very busy insuring the safety of the traveling public in many of our nine counties within the Lufkin District. Though these maintenance employees work all hours of the day and night monitoring high water, they never fail to go beyond their job duties to protect others, Flood said. “Terry King is another example of the dedication that TxDOT employees display in serving the people in East Texas and ensuring their safety.  I’m so proud of Terry’s actions to rescue this woman who exited her vehicle in a fast moving creek and then struggled to remain standing in the swift water. Terry’s quick actions may have averted a tragic ending. He definitely went the extra mile to ensure the woman’s safety, and this recognition is truly deserved.”

King has been employed by TxDOT for 12 years.

For more information, contact Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov or (936) 633-4395.

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