Highway worker celebrated as a hero

By: Hillary Thornton Email
By: Hillary Thornton Email

ALLEN, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky Highway District 12 workers gathered on Friday for a surprise celebration to honor one of their own who is being called a hero.

Johnny Meade says his actions in the early hours of February 3rd are what he would expect from any one of his co-workers here at the Allen maintenance garage.

The 21 year-old was nearing the end of his twelve hour shift as he drove along KY 194 in Floyd County. Meade says as he was following some tire tracks on the snow-covered rural road...he realized something was wrong.
Soon he was looking over a 12 foot embankment at a white Dodge Ram on its top.

Meade explains, "I made it to the front of pickup and heard a woman scream for help."

Meade's father says what his son did next did not surprise him, "We've tried to teach him if somebody is down and out, you need to step up and help them."

Once Meade got down the embankment he says he could not even see in the truck because the cab was so crushed, "I told her everything was going to be alright, we would get help and I asked her if anyone else was in the car, she said yes, I said are they ok, she said no."

The accident killed 49 year-old, Billy Crider, and officials say it would have likely been a double fatal without Meade keeping the passenger calm and calling for emergency crews.

Floyd County Judge Executive, R.D. "Doc" Marshall, was at Friday's celebration and named Meade an honorary Judge Executive. Judge Marshall says,"He didn't have to stop and inquire about where those tracks lead to, but he did and as a result a life was saved."

Meade is now being called a hero and says, "I don't think what I did is anything to be admired or celebrated, I think it is just the human reaction to help others."

Meade says he is humbled with all the recognition he has received and his thoughts and prayers remain with the families of those involved in the accident.

Meade received several honors from various legislators and was named a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Steve Beshear.


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