The tasks Keith Herrington and Marvin Lindsey usually perform as maintenance workers with the Mississippi Department of Transportation tend towards the mundane, involving everything from patching roadway potholes to picking up litter strewn along the sides of the state's many highways.
But MDOT recently honored the two men for a deed far outside their normal range of duties, one performed back in March of this year: saving the life of an injured and stranded motorcyclist.
Herrington and Lindsey were picking up trash along Interstate 20 one Wednesday in March when they noticed a "dim light" shining from the woods off the shoulder of the road. As they approached to investigate, the two MDOT workers discovered an injured biker with his left leg trapped beneath his motorcycle. Lindsey stayed with the biker to keep him awake while Herrington waited for emergency responders to arrive.
[Pictured from left: Brian Ratliff, District 5 Engineer; Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District; Marvin Lindsey, D5 Maintenance; Keith Herrington, D5 Maintenance; Vurtis McClendon, Kalem Office Supervisor; Commissioner Dick Hall, Central Transportation District and chair of the Mississippi Transportation Commission; Commissioner Tom King, Southern Transportation District; and Mike Tisdale, Kalem Office Maintenance Supervisor.]
"We actually went a day early. We were just lucky to have seen him," explained Herrington in a statement. "I don't think anyone would have seen him – [except] maybe an 18-wheeler – at night. He was hurting so bad; all he was doing was hollering. We just happened to be there at the right time. It was like the Lord pointed our eyes that way."
Herrington said the motorcyclist's wreck lay 40 yards off the road and it appeared he'd "been there for quite some time."
For their work in saving the motorcyclists life, Herrington and Lindsey were honored at a recent meeting of the Mississippi Transportation Commission.
"These are the kind of employees we have at MDOT," noted Dick Hall, commissioner for MDOT's central transportation district and the MTC's chair. "They go above and beyond the call of duty to help their fellow Mississippians."
"I was just doing my job. Anybody would have done the same," Herrington said. "I'm just proud we saved his life; I don't consider us heroes. We were just doing what we usually do.
Photo: Mississippi Department of Transportation
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