Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
March, 2015
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This Month's Articles

County Sheriff’s Deputy and Yelm Police Officer Recognized

Thurston Thrives!

The Campaigns are over, it’s Time to Serve

Meet Bud Blake.

Veterans Court Receives Special Guest from National Agency

Restaurant Rescue

Thurston County Receives “Smart Communities” Award

Elizabeth Ayer (1897-1987), Architect

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 County Sheriff’s Deputy and Yelm Police Officer Recognized

The two team up to rescue woman after car crash

Calling the rescue a “miracle” Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza and Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil recently gave the Life Saving Award to two officers. Yelm Police Officer Devon Taylor and Thurston County Sheriff’s Deputy Brett Campbell were recognized for assisting a woman who had run off the road into the Centralia Canal.

At about 2:30 the morning of November 30th of last year, Colette Smith called 9-1-1 to report her vehicle had gone off the roadway into what she thought was a ditch. As the car began to fill with water however, she realized that she had run into the Centralia Power Canal. She was unable to get the car door to open and might not have been able to climb up the steep side of the canal even if she escaped the car.

Deputy Campbell and Officer Taylor separately responded to the call and they arrived within about four minutes. They found the vehicle with the driver’s side pinned against the bank of the canal with the trunk closest to the bank. Acting quickly, Deputy Campbell established solid footing and held onto Officer Taylor as he stood with one foot on the bank and one on the trunk of the car. Officer Taylor used his baton to smash out the back window. They had Ms. Smith climb out the back window onto the trunk. They adjusted their positions so each could grab one of her hands. Just as they did so, the car was swept away. Ms. Smith slipped waist deep into the water but they were able to hang on and pull her to safety.

The 30-year-old Spanaway woman was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital for minor injuries and exposure to the cold.

In the recent ceremonies, Yelm Police Chief Stancil congratulated the two rescuers and said it was a miracle that they both arrived as quickly as they did, and that they were able to work together to save Ms. Smith from a possible drowning. He credited interjurisdictional cooperation for the rescue. “There are no real boundaries between us. Law enforcement officers here work together when the need arises.”

During the Life Saving Award ceremonies, Ms. Smith thanked the officers and said she was so grateful that they both responded so quickly.

By John Tennis

Collette Smith, Deputy Campbell and Officer Taylor Collette Smith, Deputy Campbell and Officer Taylor