WASHINGTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Deputy Ronnie Manning was out on a routine call on Friday, July 14 when he spotted smoke. The source was a car that had flipped and landed at the edge of the woods on Lee's Creek Rd.
"Once he realized the two women were trapped in a burning vehicle with no means of escape, Deputy Manning did not hesitate," described Sheriff Randy Seal. "Grabbing a hammer from inside his vehicle, he quickly determined the rear window was the only avenue of escape from the spreading flames and broke out the window so the women could escape."
Although uninjured, the women were facing certain death.
"Had it not been for his being in the right place at the right time and quickly responding to the dangerous situation, there most certainly would have been two fatalities," Sheriff Seal explained. "I commend Deputy Manning for his quick and decisive action."
Deputy Manning's background was a possible factor in his decisive action.
"A retired Bogalusa firefighter, Deputy Manning knew what to do and quickly did it," said Sheriff Seal. "In a very humble manner, he simply indicated that he was only doing his job."
Unfortunately, Deputy Manning had a second job to perform. Both women were arrested.
The driver, Bridge Stogner, 34, of Bogalusa, is charged with driving while intoxicated and careless operation of a motor vehicle.
The passenger, Brittany Purvis, 30, of Bogalusa, is charged with possession of schedule IV drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.