The heroism of a sheriff’s deputy when responding to a two-car accident which killed one man and hospitalized eight others was recognized by Acadia Parish Sheriff Wayne Melancon Wednesday in a special ceremony and presentation.
Sheriff Melancon presented Deputy Dustin Lopez with an award of recognition citing him “for his selfless acts of heroism and life savings measures.”
On Jan. 25, Deputy Lopez responded to a 2:30 a.m. accident and subsequent car fire on Interstate 10.
When Deputy Lopez reached the accident scene, he found several victims on the ground and was told there was still someone inside the burning vehicle.
Armed with his flashlight, Deputy Lopez broke a window on the burning vehicle and opened the driver’s side door, cutting the victim out of her seatbelt and pulling her away from the fire.
While assisting the driver, he noticed another victim, a young person, who was trapped between the passenger seat and the car’s dashboard.
He went back to the burning vehicle and pulled the young girl out and discovered she was not breathing. Deputy Lopez began performing life-saving measures on the young girl, resuscitating her three times before medical technicians with Acadian Ambulance arrived at the accident scene.
While commending Deputy Lopez for going “above and beyond his call of duty in saving the lives of these two individuals,” Sheriff Melancon also said, “The successful outcome of this situation was only made possible because of the teamwork of all of the deputies involved.”
Sheriff Melancon then called on Sergeant Ricky Monceaux, Deputy Lonis Domingue, Deputy Randall Rue, Deputy Amber Dubois and Corporal Conrad Perry to be recognized by those attending the ceremony.