Deputies Recognized For Lifesaving Efforts

Deputy Chris Lambert (center) is shown being recognized by Sheriff Jay Russell and Chief Deputy Marc Mashaw for his efforts saving the life of a driver involved in a head-on collision March 29, 2021.

On March 29, 2021, Deputy Chris Lambert of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a reported head-on vehicle accident on Desiard Road/U. S. Hwy. 80 in Monroe.  Deputy Lambert was in the immediate area and arrived on scene in less than one minute.

Upon arrival, Deputy Lambert observed bystanders attempting to remove the driver from a crashed vehicle that was engulfed in flames. Deputy Lambert retrieved the fire extinguisher from his patrol unit and began applying the chemical to the hood and driver area to keep the flames off the bystanders. The effort by the bystanders failed.  Dy. Lambert proceeded to try to remove the driver as his fire extinguisher emptied and was able to cut the shoulder harness of the driver with his knife.  As he cut the harness, the second Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Deputy, Deputy Casey Albritton arrived on scene and began applying the chemical from his fire extinguisher while Deputy Lambert worked to free the driver’s legs from being pinned under the steering column.

During this rescue attempt by Deputy Lambert, Deputy Albritton’s extinguisher emptied also, as the flames continued to intensify.  Louisiana State Police Trooper Darren Ragland arrived and began assisting and applied chemical from his extinguisher, while efforts continued to try and free the driver.  The flames were not controlled by the Troopers extinguisher and continued to intensify, by now reaching the front passenger area of the vehicle.  Finally, the driver’s legs were freed.  Forcing open a rear door of the vehicle, the three of them were able to pull the driver into the rear seat and out of the vehicle to safety.   Almost immediately afterward the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames.

Sheriff Jay Russell commends the efforts of all three men for their actions that no doubt led to saving the drivers life.