COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina Sheriff's Association Medal of Valor Ceremony was held on Thursday night at the Embassy Suites Greystone in Columbia. It is intended to bring special recognition to sheriff's deputies who have displayed bravery and courage in 2016.
Two Florence County Deputies were honored at the ceremony for their act of valor on the night of September 25, 2016. Deputy Tyler Urquhart and Corporal William Odom rescued a woman from a burning vehicle after it was involved in a fiery crash on I-95.
Urquhart was patrolling the area and traveling south bound on I-95 when he was the first one on scene of the crash. A woman's vehicle struck the back of a 53 foot tractor-trailer rig and caught on fire. Urquhart was able to rescue the woman from the rear passenger door. Odom was the second one on scene and extinguished the flames as Urquhart pulled the woman out of the car.
Sheriff Kenney Boone said, "They ran into danger to save the helpless. They represent the best of what we do every day and they make us very proud." Boone presented the medal of valor to the men at the ceremony. There were a total of four deputies from across South Carolina that received the medal of valor.
"It's a huge accomplishment - it's something to share back many years from now with family and young ones that will grow old, it will be nice to bring this back for memories," Urquhart said.
Both men said it's all part of their job, and the recognition was the last thing they expected.
"It's an eye-opening experience is what it is," Urquhart added. "You take a tragedy like this and you really understand what your job is. It's nice being shown appreciation, you know especially law enforcement now a days."
Odom agreed and said he thinks about the day the two saved the woman's life, and thinks about while he is on the job now.
"Getting ready for work, when I go out for work, I just never forget it, it crosses my mind. It's an honor to receive an award, its special to me," Odom stated.
The deputies said they have not seen the victim since, but the family has contacted them to say thank you for sacrificing their lives to save another.