Sheriff honors men for saving life on Christmas Day

Debra Stephens, Tim Meeks, Johnny Smith and Sheriff Matt Myers

Two area men were honored by Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers for their roles in saving the life of woman in a Christmas-Day crash.

On that day, Tim Meeks and Johnny Smith were driving southbound on Interstate 65 in separate vehicles when they noticed smoke coming from an area between a side access road and the interstate. The pair exited at the 64 mile marker and made their way to the scene at CR 300S and Crossing Lane. The pair arrived at the same time and found a vehicle, on its roof, on fire. The pair were able to save the driver, Debra Stephens, by

WRB staff photo

dragging her away from the burning vehicle.

Meeks and Smith received an Award of Valor from Sheriff Myers, who thanked them for their bravery.

Investigators say Stephens was driving east on County Road 300S when her vehicle left the roadway, went through a chain-link fence and hit an embankment. The fire began soon after.

WRB staff photo

Stephens was airlifted to Eskenazi Hospital’s Burn Unit. She is recovering and attended Thursday’s ceremony. Stephens thanked Meeks and Smith with hugs and told the men that she wouldn’t be alive without them.