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Highway Patrol Trooper Receives Life-Saving Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, Dec. 18, 2015

Contact: Tony Mangan, Department of Public Safety, 773-6196


Highway Patrol Trooper Receives Life-Saving Award


PIERRE, S.D.  – South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper James Tedder Friday received a life-saving award for his efforts to rescue two people who were trying to swim to shore in Day County.


Trooper Tedder was honored at a ceremony in the Highway Patrol’s Aberdeen office. Col. Craig Price, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, presented the award to the trooper.


“Receiving this award is an extremely high honor,” says Col. Price. “This distinction exemplifies the courage and decisive action Trooper Tedder took in this situation.”


Trooper Tedder was part of a vehicle pursuit on Oct. 15, 2015, six miles north of Roslyn. The vehicle that was being pursued traveled down a road that was under water and the vehicle became submerged.


The two occupants, a male and a female,  exited the vehicle and started swimming away. Trooper Tedder followed the two along the shore line, commanding them to come to shore.


Eventually, the two became fatigued in the cold water. The female attempted to make her way toward shore.  The male went under water, resurfaced and started to call for help.


Trooper Tedder took off his duty belt and shoes and went into the water. He helped the female to shore; then made it out to the male and safely pulled him to shore. The two were eventually taken to a local hospital for treatment of hypothermia.


“This situation combined two major aspects that all troopers deal with – law enforcement and public safety,” says Col. Price. “Regardless of whether the two occupants were suspects in a pursuit, Trooper Tedder made sure they were safe as well. He put himself in harm’s way to help others.”


Trooper Tedder is a 10-year veteran of the Highway Patrol. He is stationed at Webster.


The Highway Patrol is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.