Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hendry Deputy Branaman Saves Life

Allegedly Drunk Woman Saved From Canal

CLEWISTON, FL. -- Due to the quick actions of Hendry County Sheriffs Deputies, their success in extricating a female driver from a sinking car may have saved her life. 

During the early morning hours of Friday, November 20, 2009, Hendry County Agriculture Deputy Blake Branaman was patrolling the area of Flaghole Road outside of Clewiston, when he witnessed a vehicle exit the west side of Flaghole Road and enter a canal that parallels the roadway. 

Acting quickly Deputy Branaman immediately called for assistance and exited his vehicle.  After notifying sheriff's office communication dispatcher, Lori Rodriguez, Branaman told them he was entering the canal in an effort to rescue the driver as the vehicle was quickly sinking. 

Upon making contact with the driver, later identified as Robin Jones, Branaman struggled with her to get her out of the vehicle as she was uncooperative and resisting his efforts.  Moments later additional Sheriff's Office personnel arrived on scene and were able to assist Branaman in removing Jones from the vehicle unharmed. 

Clewiston towing was then called to remove the completely submerged vehicle. 

Once Jones was removed from the vehicle she was transported to Hendry Regional Medical Center and later released.  At the time of her release Jones was transported to the Clewiston Sub Office where she was interviewed. 

It was at this time that deputies determined that Jones was in fact intoxicated.  She did submit to a breathalyzer to determine her blood alcohol level which measured .140, nearly twice the legal level.  Jones was placed under arrest and transported to the Hendry County Jail and later released on a $750 bond.


Sheriff Whidden stated ''I am very proud of the efforts of Deputy Blake Branaman, Sgt. Larry Preece, Deputies Clifton Green, Shannon Bell and Brian VanFleet.  Their heroic efforts and selfless action are an example of the risks that law enforcement officers around the nation may be called upon to take each day while protecting its citizens.''

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