At an awards ceremony that took place today at the Sheriff’s Office, Justin Cassidy was given a certificate of accommodation for risking his own life to save a fellow citizen, Stephen E Ruder.
On May 27, 2013, Ruder was traveling south on Clyde B. Wells Bridge when he lost control of his 2009 Nissan pickup truck and dropped 60 feet into the Choctawhatcee Bay landing upside down. Cassidy just happened to be fishing on the south side of the bridge and ran towards the wreckage, dove into the water and made his way to the driver side door which was jammed. The cab of the truck was completely immersed in the water but Cassidy was able to get the door open and pull Ruder to safety.
Ruder did receive injuries but is forever grateful to Cassidy for his heroic actions in saving his life.