An Oakland man who helped pull a child from a burning truck after a December crash in Sidney was among those honored Tuesday at the Maine State Police annual awards ceremony.

Trevor Hanna and John Dow, of Eliot, each received a Special Award of Commendation for pulling Tyler Turner, 8, from the pickup truck Dec. 6 on Route 27 in Sidney.

Eight-year Maine State Police veteran Cpl. Christopher Smith of Hancock was named Trooper of the year at the ceremony, held at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro. Retired Lt. Herbert Morse, of Hermon, was named Legendary Trooper, the highest honor for a retired trooper.

A number of troopers and people who were in the right place at the right time and stepped in to help were recognized at the ceremony.

“It’s pretty amazing to be honored this way,” Hanna said Tuesday.

Hanna and his wife were returning home from Christmas shopping on Dec. 6 when they saw the burning pickup truck in a ditch on Route 27 just north of Augusta, he told the Morning Sentinel the day after the accident. Inside was 8-year-old Tyler Turner, hanging upside down, confused and in pain.

When Hanna, a welder for Bath Iron Works, realized the boy was buckled in by a seat belt, he used the Leatherman multi-tool he carries with him to cut the boy free.

Dow, 70, of Eliot, had stopped too. He and his wife, Beverly, were on their way to East Madison to visit her parents.

He heard Hanna hollering for help and ran down the hill. “I just crawled in as far as I could to get the kid,” Dow told the Morning Sentinel the next day. “He was stuck like an anchor in there.”

Tyler could not move his legs and was dead weight, Dow said. Someone placed a towel under the boy, and Dow, Hanna and another person carried the boy about 20 feet up a hill.

Then the pickup exploded.

Tyler survived, but his great-aunt, Sherry Turner, 53, of Jay, later was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hanna and Dow were reluctant after the accident to take credit for their actions.

“Anyone would have done it,” Dow said. “No one wants to see a young kid in that situation.”

Hanna agreed. “It’s just one of those things. It’s just very hard to deal with. I’m just worried about the little boy,” he said.

In other awards Tuesday:

• Smith, who patrols in Hancock and Washington counties, grew up in Machias and joined the state police in 2008 after serving four years as a patrol officer with Mount Desert Police Department, according to a news release from Department of Safety spokesman Steve McCausland. Smith is assigned to Troop J, which is in Ellsworth. He patrols with his dog, Winger, the only drug detection dog in the troop, according to the release.

Col. Robert Williams, chief of the state police, said in the release that Smith “is one of the best field training officers” in the department, who has a natural ability to instruct younger troopers “and he is a true role model.”

• Morse, who retired in 2003 after serving 42 years, was the commanding officer at Troop E in Orono for 27 years, according to the release. He grew up in Bath and joined the state police in 1961.

Maj. Christopher Grotton, who served under Morse for 12 years in Troop E, said in the release that Morse “had an ability of inspire and mentor that forged his leadership legacy guiding scores of troopers. His sage advice and guidance made a significant impact on my career and many others.”

• Leonard and Rosemary Wallace, of Steuben, Bravery Awards for rescuing two children and their mother, whose car careened into a pond in April in Hancock County.

• Jason Forgues of Freeport and Paul Oleston of Topsham, Special Awards of Commendation, for rescuing a man from his burning truck in April in Freeport.

• State police Sgt. Chad Fuller and Trooper John Darcy, Bravery Awards, for ending an armed standoff with a man in February 2015 in Smyrna.

• Troopers Darren Vittum and Chris Hashey, Meritorious Awards, for saving the life of a man who suffered a heart attack in 2015 in Milford.

• Trooper Ricci Cote, Colonel’s Award, for arresting 276 drunken drivers over the last eight years, including 50 in 2015.

• Troopers Niles Krech, Adam McNaughton and Elisha Fowlie, Colonel’s Awards, for arresting a trio of scam artists from Georgia who were involved in a scam involving writing bad checks.

• Sgt. Chris Rogers, Trooper Jared Stedman and Brunswick police Detective William Moir, Colonel’s Awards, for arresting a man accused of scamming more than 50 people from Maine to Florida out of nearly a half million dollars for excavation work never completed and firewood never delivered.

• State police computer crime analyst Dawn Ego, Colonel’s Award, for her work with the FBI to identify a young girl from Canada who had been a victim of child pornography.


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