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DOT credits inmates with helping save a manís life

LEXINGTON - Three inmates who were working on a road squad Aug. 21 have been credited with helping save the life of a Department of Transportation worker who was supervising them.

The worker was apparently operating a chain saw while clearing a right-of-way when it exploded, caught fire and ignited his clothing. Willie Smith and Keitheran Barksdale, both inmates at Davidson Correctional Center, acted quickly trying to smother the fire and removing the workerís chaps. They then grabbed a water cooler and poured water over the worker putting the fire out. Another inmate, Anthony Stevenson, put out the fire on the ground.

All three of the inmates stayed with the worker trying to keep him conscious and calm until emergency personnel arrived. In a commendation letter, a county maintenance engineer wrote, "The quick actions of these men saved the workerís life. If not for them, he would not have survived." He added that the Department of Transportation was grateful for their response and care in the difficult situation. The worker was expected to return to work.

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