Valdosta Police officer honored for saving man's life

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Valdosta Police honor one of their own for saving a man's life after a trench collapse in November.

Officer Vernotis Williams was first on the scene.

He jumped into the trench and started digging out Morgan Tyson who was buried from the neck down.

Moments after a trench caved in on Morgan Tyson last November, Officer Vernotis Williams jumped in the hole and and started digging him out so he could breathe.

"The only thing I could see was his head on up," said Officer Williams. "The rest of him was covered by the sand."

Crews from Southern Allied Contractors were working in front of Americare extending sewer lines. Officer Williams happened to be leaving that pharmacy, and one of the workers waved him down.

"He pointed inside the ditch and I noticed another gentleman that in the sand and a wall of dirt had fallen on him," said Officer Williams.

Community members brought him oxygen. Now Williams' own police department has honored him with a life saving award.

"I was surprised to receive it I'm honored to get it but I wasn't expecting it, just a wow factor," said Officer Williams.

Capt. Ken Gallagher was there on scene with the Georgia Search and Rescue Team says Morgan Tyson is lucky to have survived and officer Williams quick intervention got him air.

"Most of these trench rescues turn into recoveries," said Capt. Ken Gallagher. "Even if we get there and the person is still alive their injuries can be so extensive they don't survive."

Thanks to the quick response from rescue workers and community workers Morgan Tyson survived.

Valdosta Police also awarded Detective Jeremy Duncan a purple heart.

He was shot in the hand while serving a no knock warrant at a suspected drug dealer's home.

VPD Patrol Officer Barry Williams recieved a 20 year service award.

VPD Patrol Officer Andre' Porter got the Top Gun Award  for the fastest and most accurate results on the police obstacle course.

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