Inmate’s Heroic Actions Save Deputy

Published 1:30 pm Friday, March 11, 2022

A Jessamine County Deputy assigned to the roadside litter program had a diabetic emergency while driving a Detention Center vehicle around noon March 8, but the deputy received assistance from the inmate, so there is a happy ending.

Deputy was driving a crew of four inmates back to the jail that had been picking up litter from a county road, according to a press release from the Jessamine County Detention Center. Deputy’s name has not been released to the media.

The deputy’s sugar level bottomed out and he passed out at the wheel while driving in bound on Chrisman Mill Road. One of the inmates, Terry Smallwood, was in the passenger seat of the truck when the deputy went unconscious.

Smallwood was able to reach from the passenger side of the vehicle and apply the brake to bring the vehicle to a safe stop, according to the press release. After stopping the vehicle, Smallwood then put the vehicle in park and began providing care to the deputy until the arrival of first responders.

Jessamine County Jailer Jon Sallee said because of Smallwood’s assistance, several scenarios were avoided.

“First, if not for his actions, the vehicle could have either ran off the road or hit oncoming traffic causing damage and injuries to those in the vehicle and other vehicles traveling on the road,” he said. “Second, if the deputy had not received medical care in the amount of time that he did, he potentially could have gone into a diabetic coma.”

Sallee praised Smallwood’s heroism.
“I can not thank inmate Smallwood enough for his heroic actions that day that potentially saved the lives of not only our Deputy but also the other inmates in the vehicle and citizens traveling the road that day,” Sallee said.

According to court documents, Smallwood has been serving jail time for convictions on burglary, receiving stolen property and drug charges since June of 2014. If Smallwood were to serve the maximum sentence, he would remain incarcerated until April of 2036 — minimum being June of 2027 for release on good behavior.

Smallwood will be eligible for parole in May, according to the Parole Board. Worth noting, Smallwood has been recommended for parole twice since 2014 for good behavior. Parole was deferred 12 months at his most recent parole hearing in March of 2021.
Jessamine Journal has begun reaching out to various officials to see if Smallwood may be released early because of his heroism.

Jessamine Jailer’s Office said it has recently filed paperwork recommending Smallwood for a reduced sentence but it has not heard back from the state Department of Corrections.

If the newspaper learns that Smallwood is on the fast track for release, the folks of Jessamine County will be the first to know. When this story was posted to the Jessamine Journal’s Facebook page last week, the post reached more than 4,400 people who shared the news 15 times and left 14 comments including:

David Kibler: Well done Terry. Thank you for your quick thinking and actions that prevented some potentially terrible situations.

Michele Dee: Let him out for good time

William Meador: Seems like a reduced sentence should be offered.

Rhonda Lee: So proud of you Terry Smallwood. Love you