To recognize his dedication to the well-being of others, a Williams area California Highway Patrol Officer was recognized with a commendation on Feb. 5.
Officers from the Williams area CHP Department were joined by personnel from the Colusa and Williams Police Departments and the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office for a surprise ceremony to honor CHP Officer Ray Close for the “superior-effort act” he exhibited while responding to an emergency in Oct. 2019.
As an officer with the Victorville area CHP department, Close responding to a report of a collision involving a vehicle and a pedestrian and was informed upon his arrival that the pedestrian had fled the scene and climbed up an embankment.
Close pursued the pedestrian to see if she was okay and found that she had climbed over the protective fence of the Interstate overpass and was now standing on the ledge just above the active roadway.
As he approached, Close said he remembered thinking, “I have to do something. The women is young and she has a lot to live for.”
Just as the women lunged forward off the railing, Close managed to push his arms under the fence and secured the woman’s ankle, dangling her over the Interstate for several minutes until the local fire department was able to cut a hole in the fence and help Close pull the woman to safety.
“Officer Close, you are to be commended for your efforts and your dedication to the safety of another: both reflect this Department’s core tenants of safety, service and security,” read the commendation issued by Warren A. Stanley, commissioner for the Department of California Highway Patrol.
Williams area CHP Lieutenant Dustin Ferguson said that commendations like this are rarely given out.
“Even if he wasn’t an officer, he would have helped out,” said Ferguson. “That’s just the type of person he is.”
Close said he has not spoken to the women since the incident but has heard that she is seeking professional help.
Close has been with the CHP for three and a half years and relocated to the Williams area Department in Dec. 2019.