Florence County deputies recognized for heroism during I-95 crash

Florence County deputies recognized for heroism during I-95 crash

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - An act of heroism did not go unnoticed after two members of the Florence County Sheriff's Office put their lives on the line to save a woman trapped inside a burning car on Interstate 95 after it crashed into an 18-wheeler earlier this year.

The Florence County Council thanked the two men, Deputy Tyler Urquhart and Cpl. William Odom, during their meeting on Thursday morning. The two men were given a resolution of appreciation and recognition for going above and beyond their course of duty to protect and save the life of one woman who crashed into an 18-wheeler and was trapped inside.

The accident happened at the end of September while Urquhart and Odom were patrolling on I-95 together. They were the first on the scene as the woman's car began to burn.

"Me and Deputy Urquhart almost got run over a few times just trying to cross the road and get over to the vehicle," Odom said. "It was chaotic and just as bad as the flames were. We knew time was limited. It was a real scary moment. we just wanted to get this lady out of there."

A sense of humility filled the room as Urquhart and Odom accepted their recognition, one they did not expect.

"My mind was, 'I got to get her out,' and fortunately I had Odom with me who was able to get the extinguisher to keep the fire off her," Urquhart said. "That way we could get in the car."

It was a sense of relief that he said he has never felt before. Odom said he kept the flames back and Urquhart busted out the rear window trying to free the woman.

"This is an award that you don't just win," said Councilman Kent Caudle as he shook the men's hands. "It's recognition that you earn by displaying your courage and concern for others. On behalf of Florence County, thank you for your sacrifice."

The night of the accident, Odom said cars were flying by on I-95.

"It was chaotic," he said. "We couldn't get the traffic to stop."

There was limited time and the men couldn't worry about traffic. Their only thought was saving the woman inside the burning car.

"It's been a once in a lifetime experience. I won't ever forget this," Urquhart said.

Both the men agreed that recognition like county council gave them make them even more proud to wear the badge.

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.