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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Officer Receives Life Saving Award for Saving Motorist Trapped in Burning Car
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March 6, 2009 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen awarded the department’s Life Saving Award to Officer Jayson Waggoner. Officer Waggoner has been with the Knoxville Police Department since June 2006.

On January 13, 2009, at approximately 5:40 p.m., Officer Waggoner responded to an alarm call at the TVA Credit Union located at 1306 Tillery Road. When Officer Waggoner arrived on the scene he spoke with two witnesses who were in the credit union’s parking lot when the alarm went off. The witnesses described an Infinity vehicle with a male driver who was being reckless and had sped off from the rear of the credit union after the alarm was activated. The witnesses indicated the vehicle drove off an embankment at the rear of the building and dropped into a forest of tress. Officer Waggoner located the spot where the vehicle had gone off the roadway.

Officer Waggoner and Chief OwenChief Owen said, “Officer Waggoner ran down the embankment and found the vehicle on fire and the driver trapped inside. Officer Waggoner attempted to get the door open without success.”

Officer Waggoner directed the driver, Christopher Myers, to keep working on the door while he retrieved his fire extinguisher from his patrol car.

“Even though the fire extinguisher had been drained, it still wasn’t enough to fight back the growing flames which were now into the passenger compartment,” said Chief Owen.

Officer Waggoner then immediately and decisively used his baton to smash the rear window of the vehicle which enabled him to pull the victim from the fire and smoke engulfed car. Officer Waggoner suffered smoke inhalation and was treated and released from the hospital. Mr. Myers was admitted for treatment of his injuries and for observation. It was determined that the victim had suffered a medical condition which caused the erratic driving behavior.

Chief Owen said, “Officer Waggoner’s quick response, appropriate assessment of the situation, calm demeanor and actions, resulted in saving the life of Mr. Myers.”

Mayor Haslam said, “We commend Officer Waggoner for his heroic efforts in saving the life of the victim.”
For Immediate Release
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