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Bulletproof Vest Saves Deputy’s Life In Crash

The life of a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy is saved by his bulletproof vest, but not in the way most people might think. It happened as the officer was answering to an emergency call.

Ronald Lalumandier, 29, has only been with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department a short while. “He told me the first thing he thought was, ‘I’m going to die,'” said Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton.

The deputy sheriff was on an emergency run, speeding to a brawl involving five or six people early Monday evening when his patrol car left Evergreen Road just outside the Frankfort city limits.

“Coming around the curve, his back end broke loose and wound up going through the fence,”

said Melton.

Black ice may be to blame. The vehicle smashed through a wooden plank fence with one of the planks flying through the front windshield. The officer was wearing his bulletproof vest, which was loaded with extra trauma plates. Melton credits the vest with saving his the deputy’s life.”

(The plank) him straight in the chest where the trauma plate is, bounced off took the headrest off and knocked the cage into the back seat of that car, which is a lot of force,” said Melton. A couple of inches over, the plank would have likely hit the deputy in the neck or head.

Melton said he bought vests for all his officers, but never expected one would prevent serious injury or save a life like this.”He was extremely fortunate. God was actually with him that night, and thank God he’s OK,” said Melton. The deputy sheriff is sore, but already back on the job.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most law enforcement officers injured or killed on the job are hurt or killed in traffic-related incidents.

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