Washington Parish Sergeant Receives Life Saving Award

Published 4:44 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2024

FRANKLINTON, La. – The Washington Parish community gathered at the courthouse Wednesday, Jan. 3, to honor the valor of Sergeant John O’Hern of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office, who received the Life Saving Award for his heroic actions during a critical rescue on September 13, 2023. In the presence of his family, Sheriff Randy “Country” Seal, and fellow officers, Sergeant O’Hern was celebrated for his quick thinking and bravery.

The incident, which took place at the intersection of Highway 10 and Highway 25, involved a harrowing rescue operation following a severe car accident. The vehicle, overturned and partially underwater, left its occupants in imminent peril. Sergeant O’Hern, an eight-year veteran, rushed to the scene and immediately engaged in the rescue efforts.

His resolve was matched by the timely arrival of Officers Johnathan Leche and Sergeant Trey Johnson of the Franklinton Police Department. The trio faced a daunting challenge: to save the individuals trapped inside the submerged vehicle. With their combined effort and remarkable determination, they managed to extract two individuals from the back seat.

But their efforts didn’t stop there. Upon realizing another person was still trapped, they continued their strenuous endeavor to right the vehicle, enabling Officer Leche to reach and save the last victim.

The ceremony underscored the sacrifice and dedication law enforcement officers make daily. While Sergeant O’Hern was the focus of today’s award, the ceremony was also a poignant reminder of the joint heroism shown by all officers involved. Their actions exemplify the commitment and courage of those who serve in law enforcement.

Sergeant Johnson and Officer Leche were recognized previously for their bravery with Life Saving Awards in November 2023. As Sergeant O’Hern received his award, the community was reminded of the tragic loss of Bobby Harriel, the 44-year-old Ruth, Mississippi resident who perished in the accident.

Sheriff Seal expressed his deep gratitude to the officers, emphasizing that their actions that September evening were a testament to their dedication to public safety. “Our officers are everyday heroes, and their courage is an inspiration,” Seal stated. The Washington Parish community proudly honors these officers and offers sincere thanks for their service and sacrifice.

About Timothy Holdiness

Timothy Holdiness is a native of Louisiana and has been published in several state, national and international publications. He has earned two undergraduate degrees in Biology, most recently from Northwestern State University in 2022. Notably, Holdiness was the 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist United States Champion in PowerPoint 2010.

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