Two men awarded Life Saving Award after saving mother and children

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: Elizabeth West)
(Source: Elizabeth West)

POINSETT COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Poinsett County Sheriff's Office held a Life Saving Award ceremony in honor of two men who saved a mother and her children's lives after a serious accident.

Elizabeth West, the mother, said other than it being a rainy day July 27, she doesn't remember much.

"I knew I was passing through Marked Tree and the next thing I know I was waking up in the hospital in the Med in Memphis," said West. "That is it."

What West did not know at the time was that she and her family had a near death experience. She was later found unresponsive in an overturned vehicle with her children.

"Several accidents usually happen along I-555 near the Marked Tree exit when it rains," said Tommy Hampton, responding Marked Tree Officer and recipient of the Life Saving Award. "So it was a normal day. I got out and started to find out who was hurt and who wasn't and got over there at the scene and started looking inside the vehicle and saw that both of them were inside and I started yelling for help."

At that moment, Edward J. Roach, sheriff's deputy, saw Hampton needed some assistance.

"I attempted to help to free the young lady and at that point, we noticed a little boy underneath her," said Roach. "That's when we knew we had to save them at all cost."

The boy reportedly was trapped under West struggling to breathe from having his head stuck in mud and water.

"We grabbed ahold of the truck enough so the baby's head could come out of the window enough so he could breathe," said Hampton. "When we finally rolled the vehicle up enough, I recognized the boy."

Hampton said he was there when 8-year-old Charlie was born.

"It hit close to home," said Hampton. "He called out my name and I called out his name. I just had to do what I had to do to save everyone there."

Eventually, Roach and Hampton, with the help of other emergency personnel and passers-by, rolled the vehicle completely over.

West was then taken to the hospital.

"When I woke up they told me, you're okay," said West. "You were in an accident. I just had to close my eyes and praise God because I was alive and those children number one was alive."

Tuesday, Sheriff Kevin Molder and Marked Tree Police Chief Michael Matlock presented the two men with the Life Saving Award.

West, meeting Deputy Roach for the first time since the accident, thanked them at the podium.

"I know that many police are not well received," said West. "They are not all bad. Not all heroes wear capes."

Hampton said he is grateful for the award, but seeing the family and hugging them the day after the accident was greater.

"If there was one more second between us flipping that car over, someone could have lost their life," said Hampton. "There is no other explanation that God was there that's it. He was right there in that right moment."

Roach, Hampton, and West also thanked every good Samaritan that stopped on the interstate to help them.

"If it was not for them, me and my children may not be here today," said West.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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