MARYSVILLE May 24, 2017 – Three Caltrans District 3 employees of the Whitmore Maintenance Station on Interstate 80 who showed courage in the face of danger were presented with the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor Award at a ceremony Tuesday at the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento.
“These men are true heroes,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Every day our maintenance employees risk their lives to perform their duties, but these men didn’t think twice about diving into action to save others.”
Whitmore Maintenance Equipment Operator II James Anderson earned his Silver Medal of Valor Award for responding to an emergency dispatch call on January 29, 2016. Anderson jumped into an icy fast-flowing creek to aid the rescue of a woman trapped in a pickup truck that had rolled off Interstate 80 in the Sierra, landing upside down in the water.
Caltrans Equipment Operator II Kenneth Myers earned his Governor’s Silver Medal of Valor Award for grabbing Anderson’s belt as Anderson and other rescuers were slipping downstream into the current, which would take them into a culvert pipe that runs under Interstate 80.
Caltrans Maintenance Supervisor Rodney Walker earned his Silver Medal of Valor Award for relieving the soaked, frozen and exhausted men who extracted the woman from the truck. He helped get her out of the water and carried her up the steep, slippery embankment to safety.
The State Employee Medal of Valor Award is the highest honor California bestows on its public servants. Governor Edmund G. Brown Sr. presented the first awards in 1959. Since then, nearly 600 state employees have earned that honor for displaying bravery, courage and selflessness in the face of danger.