A Collier County Deputy has been nominated for a Medal of Distinguished Service after recusing a driver from a fiery crash.
On October 23, Cpl. Joshua Hankinson was traveling on I-75 in Charlotte County about 7:15 a.m. when he spotted a collision involving two semi-trucks southbound at mile marker 166.
Cpl. Hankinson said he immediately pulled over and went to check on the driver inside of the truck with the worst damage. After smelling the heavy odor of diesel fuel leaking from the truck, Cpl. Hankinson said he forcefully opened the driver door and instructed the driver to get out of the truck, but he did not respond.
“When I realized he may not understand or was in a state of shock, I reached over him and unbuckled his seat belt,” Cpl. Hankinson recalled. “Pulling on his shirt and left arm I was able to assist him out of the cab of the truck.’’
The truck later engulfed in flames.
Nobody was injured in the crash, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Cpl. Hankinson said he received a few minor abrasions on his hands.
“I do not feel I did anything above what any person with a heart would have done in the same situation,” Cpl. Hankinson said. “It was just simply, in my mind, a moment in time where I made a decision to do what is right in the world."