Sunday, 14 August 2022

Local man wins Governor

SACRAMENTO – On Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger awarded the Governor's State Employee Medal of Valor to 31 state employees who have demonstrated extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism, one of them an Upper Lake resident.


Caltrans employee Timothy Mooney of Upper Lake was honored for rescuing a severely injured man trapped in the trunk of a car in January, according to a report from Schwarzenegger's office.


In the early morning on Jan. 13, Mooney, an equipment operator, was sanding the icy areas of the roadway between Hopland and Lakeport on Highway 175 when he noticed a vehicle located approximately 50 to 80 feet down a steep slope.

 

Mooney got his flashlight and climbed down the hill in the dark to investigate. While at the scene he heard a noise coming from the trunk of the vehicle. He opened the trunk and discovered an injured man with severe head lacerations.


Not knowing if the perpetrators were still in the area, Mooney contacted the California Highway Patrol, and then assisted the man to a sitting position. The temperature was 17 degrees; to protect the man from the cold Mooney gave him his raincoat.


The Hopland Fire Department responded to the scene and airlifted the victim to the hospital, where he was hospitalized for a month for treatment of head trauma and hypothermia. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident as a kidnapping and an attempted murder case.


Along with Mooney, Schwarzenegger honored four other state employees who hail from the North Coast counties of Mendocino, Napa and Humboldt: Department of Conservation – Dave Longstreth of Ukiah rescued two passengers from a car that was sinking 100 feet offshore in Lake Mendocino on April 28, 2006; Department of Forestry and Fire Protection – David Shew of St. Helena stopped a suicidal man from jumping off a freeway overpass on April 27, 2007; California Highway Patrol – Brent Weese of Crescent City rescued a woman from a fast-moving grass fire on July 3, 2006; Department of Mental Health – Phillip Scott Nixon of Napa prevented an attempted carjacking and robbery on Jan. 22, 2007.


State Sen. Patricia Wiggins offered up her own praise for the five state workers from her district.


"These people are real heroes,” Wiggins said. “Through their bravery and their willingness to get involved, they made a difference to the lives of others, and they offer proud examples of the remarkable kinds of people that work for our state government.”


The Medal of Valor, which started in 1959, is the highest honor that California bestows on its public servants and is awarded to California state employees who have performed an extraordinary act of heroism above and beyond the normal call of duty, at great risk to their own personal safety or life, to save the life of another. Award nominations are made by the employee's department.


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