Senator Rob Ortt (R,C,I – North Tonawanda) today presented New York State Senate Liberty Medals to three exemplary individuals who rescued a man from his fiery car in the Town of Pendleton last November.
On November 13, 2016, off-duty Niagara County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Walter and Niagara County residents Louie Martorana and Jeff Allen worked together to save Anthony May from his burning vehicle. May crashed into a tree on Beach Ridge Road and became pinned in the driver’s seat. Bystanders Martorana and Allen rushed to the scene to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher and try to pull the driver out. Shortly after, Walter, who is also an officer with a local fire company, happened to be driving by the accident and immediately stopped to help. He called for fire assistance and rushed to the burning vehicle. Walter was then able to pull May free from the car seconds before it became fully engulfed with flames.
Senator Ortt said, “This incredibly heroic story could have turned out much differently had it not been for these three extraordinary individuals who happened to be in the right place at the right time. Without hesitation, Deputy Walter, Mr. Martorana and Mr. Allen jumped into action, and put their own lives at risk to save someone else’s. Their bravery embodies the definition of a true hero. I’m proud to honor them today, and I commend them for their valiant and courageous actions.”
The New York State Senate Liberty Medal is the highest honor an individual can receive by the state Senate. Similar to the national Congressional Gold Medal, the award is bestowed upon individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.
Deputy Walter’s heroic actions that day have not gone unnoticed by others. The four-year veteran of the sheriff’s road patrol division was awarded the Sheriff’s Office Deputy of the Year Award and was named as the Lawman of the Year for 2016 by the Judges & Police Executive Conference of Niagara County.
Senator Ortt also honored Deputy Walter, Martorana and Allen with Senate Resolutions.