El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) held their Extra Mile Award’s at their annual Texas Transportation Short Course Tuesday in College Station.
The Extra Mile Award recognizes employees who have acted heroically to help a fellow Texan in need. Those who have received this award have saved someone’s life or attempted to save another life, while on the job or on the employee’s own time or acted in a heroic manner to prevent injury to another person or to diminish a life-threatening situation.
TxDOT says this year’s recipients included 18-year veteran Jesus A. Garcia and 3-year-technician Cruz A. Hernandez of Terlingua, a substation of Presidio in the El Paso District.
TxDOT says they saved a young woman’s life after being called by the Brewster County Sheriff’s Office to assist in debris removal from a rockslide on FM-170, 12 miles West of Lajitas.
It was a little bright light that caught the attention of Cruz going around the curve in a dump truck. He called Jesus in the lead truck to stop and check. He found it was a young lady that was trapped in her car unconscious, bleeding and seriously injured.
The crew called 911 and stayed with her until the ambulance arrived.
It turns out the woman had left work in Terlingua and fell asleep on a curve, rolling her vehicle multiple times, just before she got home to Lajitas 16 miles away.
Her parents had been searching for her for hours, but it was the height from the dump truck, that gave Cruz that life-saving view.
Medics told TxDOT employees that if it had been another hour, the young driver would not have made it. The victim’s injuries were so serious she had to be airlifted to Lubbock.
TxDOT El Paso District Engineer Tomas Treviño says, “These employees embody the selfless, caring, responsive demeanor we strive to achieve every day in our roles to serve
others. They didn’t think twice about stopping to render aid and this was especially important in such a remote area of our District.”
The first Extra Mile Award was presented in 1983. Recipients are recognized publicly and receive a plaque.
This is not the first-time staff from the TxDOT El Paso District have been recognized. Staff members were recognized in 2008, 2015 and 2018.