Thursday, August 6, 2020 - by Mitch Talley, Whitfield County Director of Communications
It’s not every day a law enforcement officer has a chance to save the lives of eight people after an accident.
But that’s what happened on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, when Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office deputies Shawn Giles and Andy Center witnessed an accident while transporting an inmate back to Dalton.
While Center kept a watch on the prisoner and remained in local contact, Deputy Giles ran down a steep embankment to help passengers trapped in two vehicles knocked off the road by a jackknifing tractor-trailer on I-75 at I-475 in Macon.
In the midst of a cold rain, Deputy Giles was able to pull all seven individuals out of the bottom vehicle, including two children, then extricated the lone occupant of the vehicle on top.
“He administered basic first aid the best he could and stayed with all patients until local first responders could arrive,” Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said in his letter nominating Deputy Giles for a statewide honor. “To our knowledge, everybody survived and made a full recovery.”
Last Wednesday, July 29, Deputy Giles was honored as the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association Deputy Sheriff of the Year during the annual summer training conference held at Lake Lanier Islands.
“Though he ‘was in the right place at the right time,’ it shows that a law enforcement officer is expected to always respond accordingly,” Sheriff Chitwood said. “Having witnessed the accident along with Deputy Andy Center, we feel certain his quick response was critical in the recovery of all eight passengers being removed from the two vehicles in the wreckage.”
Deputy Giles has been employed by the Sheriff’s Office about 19 years, currently assigned to Court Services, and works at the Courthouse, primarily in the courtrooms.
Membership in the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association is comprised of Georgia’s 159 elected sheriffs. The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association also relies on the financial support of nearly 70,000 Honorary Members who believe in the office of Sheriff and its mission to preserve the peace in our communities.