Deputy Nunemaker named Deputy of the Year

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Deputy Jeff Nunemaker stands with the surviving women who were removed from the back of the truck and their families.

On Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, Deputy Jeff Nunemaker, Clewiston High School school resource officer, was traveling on State Road 29 heading into Hendry County for his tour of duty.

Approximately 6 miles north of State Road 78, Deputy Nunemaker came up on a vehicle crash involving a box truck and a SUV-type vehicle. Both vehicles came to rest in the southbound lane and the passenger compartment of both vehicles were fully engulfed by fire.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Deputy Jeff Nunemaker accepts both the Medal of Valor and the Life Saving Award from Sheriff Whidden.

Deputy Nunemaker stopped and exited his patrol vehicle to check for injuries and/or life. He observed two subjects in the ditch close to the burning vehicles and a third subject on the northbound shoulder of the roadway. Deputy Nunemaker then saw two subjects in the rear of the burning box truck. Deputy Nunemaker climbed into the cargo area of the fully engulfed box truck and removed a male subject, bringing him to a safe location. Deputy Nunemaker again entered the fully engulfed box truck and removed an unconscious pregnant female, bringing her to safety.

Deputy Nunemaker with the assistance of bystanders removed the two subjects located in the ditch near the fully engulfed vehicles to a safe location. Deputy Nunemaker, under true emergency circumstances, acted to prevent loss of life and by his direct intervention saved the lives of three subjects.

Deputy Nunemaker knowingly placed himself in imminent danger in his heroic pursuit to save the lives of three subjects.

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