Meigs Officers risk their lives to save another - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Meigs Officers risk their lives to save another

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July 24, 2006

Mitchell County-  Two Meigs police officers risk their own lives to save a man trapped in his sinking truck. Despite the threat of alligators and snakes, the officers waded into murky waters outside of their jurisdiction to save him.

Skid marks along County Line Road mark the spot where Rayford Jones pickup ran off the road Friday night. Luckily, two women saw it happen and called for help.

"She led us out here to this location where we found an overturned Dodge Ram, about right out there," said Lt. Jeff Riggins. Meigs Police. Lucky, too, that Lt. Chris Luckey had help Friday night. Officer Jeff Riggins was off but happened to be in the office.

"I come in and ride with my partner because four to twelve is usually our busiest shift," said Riggins.

It was dark when officers arrived, they had to search the brush along County Line Road, in Mitchell County, and when they found the truck, they didn't think twice before jumping in to help.

"We had to use the tracks the truck made when it left the road to track it to this location and hear him moaning to be able to find the truck," said Riggins.

Already submerged they couldn't get inside. Riggins went back to the car for something to break the window.

"When we finally got the window to bust, it went in and he had approximately four to six inches of space between his head and the water." said Riggins.

Rayford Jones had been trying to get out, but feared the worst.

"I remember trying to kick out and I could feel water coming in and I couldn't kick out so I guess I fell back, I gave up," said Rayford Jones.

Ready to give up, Jones finally heard help.

"He heard me holler or moan. I had got myself so frightened, I said well, I'm gone, and I would have been if they didn't come in time," said Jones.

Lt. Luckey and Officer Riggins got him out and while Jones says he owes them his life. They say it was all in a days work.

"I didn't see it as being hero or heroic I was just glad that we were able to get the gentleman out safely," said Jones.

While Jones still has some healing to do, he's thankful and proud of the officers that came to his rescue and the women who took the time to call the police.

Both officers were given Commendations by the Police Chief for their bravery and heroics.

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