OPELIKA, Alabama (WRBL) – An Alabama State Trooper who works out of the Opelika Highway Patrol post is being hailed a hero after searching for and locating a missing hunter who was just hours away from death. In an act of pure determination and selflessness, Trooper Charles May covered the hypothermic man with his own winter clothes and carried him out of the woods to medical treatment.
On Saturday, January 22nd, Trooper May received a request from the Bullock County Sheriff’s Office to locate the missing hunter. May immediately took the initiative to contact his supervisor and gain authorization to wear appropriate attire, which was necessary for the severe cold weather and conditions. May then got an individual with a boat and went into the woods to search for the missing hunter, who investigators found out later, had been swept away when a beaver dam broke.
Trooper May arrived at the scene off of Bullock County 13, where he gathered all pertinent and relative information concerning the man’s last known location and was told the man had been missing since the day before. Being familiar with the area, Trooper May began searching on the opposite side of the beaver dam near Bullock County 141. While still searching for the man, Trooper May moved on to an area along with Bullock County 156, where he began to hear a faint cry for help. Trooper May located the missing man lying on the ground and took action to assess his overall mental and physical condition. The man told Trooper May he could not feel his legs, leading Trooper May to believe the man was suffering from hypothermia. Trooper May literally gave the man the clothes off his back by quickly removing the hunter’s wet clothes, then removing his own cold-weather gear; Trooper May used his clothes to cover the man to keep him from freezing even more. Trooper May then carried the hunter approximately 100 yards out of the woods, placed him in his patrol vehicle, and contacted Sgt. Chad Faulkner with Bullock County’s Sheriff’s Office to have an ambulance meet them at a nearby intersection.
Following an examination, paramedics confirmed the hunter was suffering from severe hypothermia and would have likely not survived had he been out in the conditions another hour. They then rushed the man to a nearby medical facility for treatment.
Trooper May is a hero for going above and beyond the call of duty to help bring this individual home to his loved ones.
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