Officers recognized for heroic act

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Icy streets and a fallen utility pole created a recipe for near for disaster for two LaFollette Police Officers and the driver of a crashed vehicle. 

According to Det. Sgt. Jason Henegar, on Jan. 18 Officers Jason Marlow and Stephen Wallen were attempting to slow traffic traveling on West Central Avenue due to the hazardous road conditions created by patchy ice.

“The two officers were aware the roadway was extremely slick so the decided to try to slow traffic in an effort to prevent an accident,” Henegar explained.

As Marlow and Wallen monitored traffic, Kelly L. Perkins, of LaFollette, attempted to apply her brakes and lost control of the vehicle.

Records indicate the car left the road and struck a utility pole with such force that the pole snapped in two pieces.

Henegar said the broken pole landed on top of the vehicle and caused transformers and live wires to come crashing to the ground nearby.

According to reports, Perkins was disoriented from the impact and began to struggle to get out of the vehicle.

While Marlow and Wallen were attempting to assist Perkins one of the transformers exploded, almost knocking them to the ground. 

Despite the dangerous situation the officers continued to work with Perkins until she was safely out of the car.

The two officers were presented a commendation for heroic actions during Monday’s LaFollette City Council meeting. 

The commendation stated both Marlow and Wallen “showed dedication to the department and do public service” by going above and beyond the call of duty.