Jailer thanks good samaritan after prisoner transport scare

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NELSON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) – A jailer says thanks to a truck driver who saved him from an unruly prisoner on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway.

For nearly 13 years, Darrell Herndon has been transporting prisoners across the state.

The last four years he has served as the Spencer County Jailer.

He says he's never had problems transporting prisoners, until a recent trip to Nelson County.

"I was very fortunate the other day. I think God was riding with me," said Darrell Herndon, the Spencer County Jailer.

He was transporting a 17-year-old inmate on the Parkway when authorities say the teenager slipped out of his restraints and through the safety screen, which was open, then choking the jailer.

"I have transported him before and never had a menace problem out of him before, but it don't take but once," said Jailer Herndon.

In a matter of seconds, the teen was able to grab his gun.

"I would have died. No doubt in my mind," Herndon said.

With the ongoing investigation, Herndon didn't want to talk about what happened that day.

He says he would rather focus on the man who saved him.

"He's my hero," he said.

That man, Clinton Blackburn, was the truck driver who noticed the prisoner transport vehicle stopped and the jailer needing help.

Blackburn was able to get the gun away from the prisoner, and save Herndon.

"They put their life on the line every day. It's payback. That's the way I see it," Blackburn told WDRB last week.

"My daughter talked to him on Facebook on Monday and he said he owed me a steak dinner, but I think it's the other way around. I owe him one," said Darrell Herndon.

Herndon says he's not sure yet how to repay him for what he did.

Looking forward though, he says there are safety changes that he plans to make to prevent this situation from happening again.

"It's one of those things you get too relaxed on and trust too far, and that's not going to happen again. Not like that, because I may not have an angel next time."

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