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A Baywood native and officer for a Marine Corps base in N.C. made his family and fellow officers proud when he followed his instincts to rescue a motorist from an overturned vehicle during Winter Storm Leon in late January.
Jarret White, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and patrolman for the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Provost Marshal Office in N.C., was on his way home after his shift when a Jeep passed his vehicle on the road, driving too fast for the icy road conditions.
“He was about 50 yards in front of me when he started spinning. He made his way to the left shoulder of the road. Then the vehicle rolled two times, and on the third roll he landed upside down in a retention pond,” White told The Gazette.
White pulled over to the side of the road, and jumped into the water after the motorist. He fortunately still had on all of his gear from his patrol shift, so he used his baton to break in through one of the windows.
“[The driver] was hanging in there upside down,” White said. “He wasn’t very coherent, but he wasn’t hurt.”
White checked to be sure there were no other passengers, and then he pulled the driver from the vehicle and stayed at the scene with him until EMS arrived a short time later.
“He didn’t tell me who he was. There were so many accidents that day, so I left my information with the ambulance because they had asked me if I could go ahead and go,” he said, explaining that emergency workers were trying to clear the roads as the storm worsened.
“I never heard back from them, so I’m not worried about him too much.”
White shared that this was the first time he had ever had to act in an emergency of that nature. “I didn’t even think about it, I just acted,” he said.
This act of heroism was a prime example of the standards that all dedicated officers should be held to, according to Lt. Eric Quintero, the operations officer over the patrol division at Camp Lejeune.
“Our creed is to protect and serve, and it’s not the type of job where you clock out and stop doing it,” Quintero said. “It’s a 24/7 dedication to that profession, and I hope that all officers are willing to perform in that high standard,” he said. “Jarret’s mettle was tested, and he rose to the occasion. That is the very definition of heroic, and he has proven that he is worthy of wearing that badge.”