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Students aid injured School Resource Officer

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017
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Student Heroes

STUDENT HEROES – Brac Jones, Tanner Wallace and Hayden Nelson received certificates of appreciation from the Wise County Sheriff’s Office for helping Deputy Justin Hunter when he had a medical emergency outside of Paradise High School. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

While walking to the ag barn Aug. 29, Paradise High School students Hayden Nelson and Brac Jones noticed lights were flashing on the squad car of School Resource Officer Deputy Justin Hunter, so they walked up to his window to let him know.

“He rolled his window down and yelled, ‘Help!'” Nelson said. “He was breaking down in a full sweat.”

Hunter tried to get out of the car, but he was having difficulty moving, so the boys waved down their friend Tanner Wallace, sending him to run to the front office for help.

“I told them that Officer Hunter was yelling for help and couldn’t move,” Wallace said. “Then I took off running to go see how he was doing.”

The boys waited with Hunter until the principal arrived while the office called 911. Hunter was taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a severe spinal cord injury.

Last Friday, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office recognized the boys at the school’s pep rally, awarding them certificates of appreciation in front of the whole district.

“They recognized there was a problem, they addressed the problem, and we are here to honor them today,” said Sheriff Lane Akin.

“On this day, Aug. 29, the three of you were first responders.”

Hunter is currently on leave from the sheriff’s office, recovering at home and going through rehab. According to a fundraising website set up by friends at the S.O., Hunter is now paraplegic but is making progress toward improved motor function daily.

Akin said the fact the boys were paying attention and took quick action likely saved Hunter from being injured worse.

“These kids helped expedite his recovery,” Akin said.

HELP SUPPORT DEPUTY JUSTIN HUNTER

The Wise County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officers are raising funds to help Deputy Justin Hunter with medical expenses. They are selling shirts, sizes youth small to extra large and adult small to 5XL, for $20. To order a shirt, contact your local SRO or email wisecountysro@gmail.com with your name, number, shirt size and quantity. You can see the shirt design at sites.google.com/view/wisecountysro.

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