Law Enforcement Officers Conduct Daring Rescue in Recent Accident

Published 12:12 pm Monday, September 18, 2023

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On the evening of September 13, 2023, a group of law enforcement officers displayed exceptional courage and commitment during a severe automobile accident, resulting in the successful rescue of two individuals. Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office (WPSO) Sergeant John O’Hern, Franklinton Police Department (FPD) Officer Johnathan Leche, and Sergeant Larry Johnson’s swift and decisive actions demonstrated their dedication to public safety.

At approximately 7:37 p.m., Sergeant John O’Hern responded to a distress call concerning an automobile accident involving injuries at Highway 10 and Highway 25. Upon arrival, he encountered a distressing scene: a vehicle had overturned and partially submerged in water, with the occupants trapped inside. Acting promptly, he initiated the rescue operation.

The victims were trapped in the back seat, making reaching them from the front door impossible. Sergeant O’Hern persisted in trying to get them, undeterred by the challenging circumstances. Officers from the Franklinton Police Department, Johnathan Leche, and Sergeant Larry Johnson, arrived and promptly offered assistance.

Pooling their efforts, the officers faced the challenge of freeing the occupants from the overturned vehicle. They recognized that the front door was not feasible, so they took decisive action. Through effective teamwork and determination, they managed to lift the car enough for Officer Leche to enter and extract the two individuals from the back seat.

Once safely on shore, the victims informed the officers of another person inside the vehicle. Despite initial difficulties in locating the third occupant, the officers persevered. After a considerable effort to right the overturned vehicle, Officer Leche successfully accessed the last victim and brought them out safely.

During this intense and selfless rescue operation, Officer Leche sustained a laceration to his hand, requiring immediate medical attention and stitches. Despite the injury, his dedication to saving lives remained steadfast, exemplifying the exceptional commitment of local law enforcement officers.

The heroic actions of WPSO Sergeant John O’Hern, FPD Officer Johnathan Leche, and FPD Sergeant Larry Johnson undoubtedly saved the lives of two individuals facing imminent danger. Their selflessness and unwavering determination in the face of adversity serve as an inspiration. The Washington Parish community is fortunate to have such dedicated individuals serving and protecting.

Tragically, the accident claimed the life of Bobby Harriel, a 44-year-old Ruth, Mississippi, resident who was not wearing a seatbelt and suffered severe injuries. He was promptly transported to a nearby hospital but succumbed to his injuries. Fortunately, the two Nissan passengers, wearing seatbelts, emerged from the crash unharmed.