COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina Highway Patrol recognized troopers from around the state today at the Trooper of the Year ceremony in Blythewood. The Highway Patrol, joined by SCDPS Director Leroy Smith, recognized valor, attention to detail and overall outstanding work ethic for the men and women that make up the Highway Patrol. Troopers from each area of the state were honored and an overall winner was chosen from that group.
Greenwood’s own S/Tpr. William C. Bishop was awarded Trooper of the year for Troop Two: Post B (Abbeville/Greenwood Counties).
Director Smith also presented Medal of Valor Awards for bravery and Purple Heart Awards to troopers injured in the line of duty. SCHP Col. Mike Oliver gave the "Highway Patrol Hero Award" to two private citizens who went out of their way to help preserve public safety. Charlie Bishop and Brett Blanks of Lexington were honored for helping apprehend the suspect who struck and killed an SCDOT worker on I-26 in Lexington last December.
"Last year, several of our troopers faced life and death situations and performed their duties with bravery and courage, helping protect others from harm," said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. "Two other troopers sustained life-threatening injuries in the course of their duties. Today, as a department, we humbly say thank you to these troopers and their families for their commitment and sacrifices in the line of duty."
S/Tpr. W.A. McInville, Troop Five, was named South Carolina OVERALL Trooper of the Year. McInville was on patrol in Florence County on June 3, 2012, when a vehicle ran a red light, nearly causing a collision on U.S. 52 near Cashua Drive. McInville stopped the vehicle and the parents ran from the vehicle holding a 2-year-old child who was not breathing. McInville gave the child CPR. The little boy had choked on a piece of candy. McInville was able to remain calm, call for emergency help, and explain to the parents what was happening throughout a highly charged ordeal.
"When the mother ran from the vehicle and placed this child in Trooper McInville's care, he had no idea what had happened," said Highway Patrol Col. Mike Oliver. "He calmly assessed the situation, repeatedly warned the parents to be careful of the traffic around them and was able to resusitate this child. Troopers never know what to expect on their shift, but Trooper McInville drew on his training and his experience to save a life. This act is not the exception for Trooper McInville but highlights his overall work ethic and compassion for others."