A Hampshire County Sheriff’s deputy is being called a hero after he pulled the driver of a burning truck to safety Friday morning.
Off-duty deputy Jacob Crites, who was the 1st responder on the scene, climbed down a bank by U.S. 50 about a half mile east of Hampshire High School where 2 vehicles collided shortly after 3 a.m.
He pulled from a burning 2019 Ford F-150 pickup the driver, Darl K. Shreve II, 46, of New Creek. Shreve was transported to Winchester Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.
“Deputy Crites’ actions in pulling a victim from a burning vehicle on Sept. 6 was nothing short of heroic,” Chief Deputy Nathan Sions said Tuesday. “He was off-duty at the time, but nonetheless he was willing to risk his life to help another.”
Fire companies on the scene echoed Sions’ sentiment.
“Deputy Crites exemplifies the title of public servant,” Romney Fire Chief G.T. Parsons said in a post on the fire company’s Facebook page.
“The driver of the truck owes his life to Deputy Crites,” the Augusta Fire Company reiterated on its Facebook page.
The driver of the other vehicle, Michael Shingleton, 28, of Augusta, was transported to Hampshire Memorial Hospital.
On Monday, a warrant was issued for his arrest on a charge of driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury. Shingleton is suspected of being under the influence of “several” different types of controlled substances, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities said Shingleton’s west-bound 2007 Jeep Cherokee crossed the centerline and crashed into Shreve’s eastbound F-150 pickup near Bunny Haines Road.
Crites, a senior deputy, has been a member of the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office for about 4 years.
Sions lavished praise on the officer, who he called an asset to both the sheriff’s office and the community.
“Although this particular incident has drawn attention to Deputy Crites’ service,” Sions said, “his daily work habits and dedication to serving our citizens is also to be commended. Deputy Crites’ humble service, exemplifies what being a public servant is all about.”
Besides Crites and the 2 fire companies, Romney Rescue Squad and the county ambulance were on the scene. Cpl. Travis Dolly and Cpl. Phoebe Lahman are continuing to investigate the crash.