SJC sheriff’s deputy recognized for brave actions that saved citizen

San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers (left) presents a Life Saving Award to Deputy Joseph Pellegrino for his heroic actions on Oct. 25, 2019, in which he saved a citizen during a traffic stop.

San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers awarded Deputy Joseph Pellegrino for his heroic actions that saved a man’s life on the night of Oct. 25, 2019.

At around 10 p.m. that night, Deputy Sheriff Joseph Pellegrino was working patrol on US 190 in his assigned district of patrol. During this time, Pellegrino came in contact with a driver on US 190 in the Darby Hill area of San Jacinto County.  Pellegrino observed a vehicle impending at a high rate of speed toward the rear of his marked patrol vehicle, which had the emergency lights activated for safety.

According to a statement from Sheriff Capers, Pellegrino, observing the vehicle veering closer and closer to where he and the contact person were standing, knew that danger was imminent and took action to preserve the life of the contact person and, by doing so, disregarded his own personal safety without hesitation.

The impending vehicle struck the rear of Deputy Pellegrino’s patrol vehicle on the improved shoulder of US 190. Pellegrino in the same instance, wrapped his arms around the contact person, turned him and used his body to shield the contact person from the brunt of impact that was caused from vehicle striking his patrol vehicle, which then struck the deputy.

The chain reaction impact caused both Deputy Pellegrino and the contact person to be thrown into the ditch approximately 10-15 feet from the point of impact.

Officers and deputies from both San Jacinto County and Polk County responded to his call for assistance after being struck. Firefighters and EMS medics arrived on scene minutes after the crash, where Deputy Pellegrino was then transported to CHI St. Lukes Hospital-Livingston for treatment. The contact person was not injured upon evaluation from medics.

Upon interview of the contact person as to what had transpired, he kept asking about “his hero” and the “deputy that saved his life”, as to whether Deputy Pellegrino was okay.

Deputy Pellegrino was evaluated and later released from the hospital, bruised and sore, but through God’s grace, alive.

Sheriff Capers wishes to thank the following agencies for their assistance during this incident:

  • Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division
  • Polk County Sheriff’s Office
  • Point Blank Volunteer Fire Department
  • Onalaska Police Department
  • Allegiance EMS
  • CHI St. Lukes Hospital- Livingston

For his actions of heroism that night, Capers is honored to award Deputy Sheriff Joseph Pellegrino the Life Saving Award for his valiant service to our county and our citizens.

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