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State Police present medals to troopers who saved lives

West Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. C.R. "Jay" Smithers gave five troopers medals for heroism in saving several lives on Wednesday.

Smithers presented the awards during a press conference at the State Police headquarters in South Charleston.

Four received medals. They are:

  • Sgt. Bob Mefford was shot in the stomach and his K9, Zoey, was killed by a man barricaded in Lincoln County on March 19, 2011. Mefford wore a bulletproof vest and was not injured and went back into the house to help subdue and arrest the suspect, Smithers said.
  • Cpl. Clayton Ellwanger saved a woman's life when he shot and killed her husband, who allegedly had a gun to her head during a domestic violence call in Berkeley County on April 11, 2005. The woman would have been killed had Ellwanger not been there, Smithers said.
  • Trooper Joe Bush saved a man who hanged himself by performing lifesaving techniques on July 27, 2011, in Jefferson County.
  • Troopers Jason Gallaher and Michael Mucciola saved a man from jumping off the Westover Bridge in Morgantown on Sept. 30, 2011. Mucciola grabbed the man's belt and the two troopers pulled him to safety, Smithers said.

Four civilian employees were given awards for their decades of work: Rosann Brooks, of South Charleston; Sandy Handley, of South Charleston; Cindy Talbott, of Elkins; and Elsie Coleman, of Berkeley Springs.

Trooper Brad Lowe, of the Logan Detachment, also received an award for his extensive work in solving crimes and making arrests.

Smithers said Lowe completed 177 investigations, arrested 86 on felony charges, arrested 225 on misdemeanor charges and confiscated nearly $1 million worth of illegal drugs.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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