A Rock Hill teen who helped free a trapped driver from an overturned car in November was awarded York County's highest civilian commendation by Sheriff Kevin Tolson.
Savien Dula, 19, of Rock Hill, was presented the sheriff's office civilian commendation award Thursday by Tolson in a presentation at the sheriff's office in York. The award is the highest honor the sheriff can give to a person who is not a police officer for heroism and valor, Tolson said.
"It is refreshing to know that a young man like Savien Dula is out there serving others," Tolson said Friday. "Savien did not think about himself that day - he acted to help someone else. That is the definition of public service."
The incident happened in November, off Celanese Road just west of Interstate 77. A collision sent one car down an embankment into a creek that runs perpendicular to Celanese Road, police said.
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Dula told the sheriff that he saw the crash happen. Dula said he saw the other driver's car skid down an embankment into the creek with about a foot of water in it.
Dula said he heard the man asking for help, even as police pulled up.
Sgt. Grady Gonzalez of the sheriff's office arrived on the scene and asked Dula to wait by the road while Gonzales assisted the trapped driver.
But Dula said that he had to do something to help the man in need, so Dula descended down the embankment.
"I said, 'I got to move,'" Dula told Tolson Thursday.
Dula kicked in a window, then cut the trapped person's seat belt so that he and Gonzalez could remove the injured driver.
Dula then helped Gonzalez get the driver up the embankment.
Gonzalez praised Dula's actions as "an act of heroism for all to admire."