HARVEY - A Jefferson Parish sergeant who dove into a Jefferson Parish canal to rescue a woman whose car had gone in has been given the Distinguished Service Award.
Sergeant Billy Matranga received the honor for his actions this past Wednesday at the intersection of Division and West Esplanade.
The woman's car was struck in a hit-and-run incident that sent it into the water. Sergeant Matranga was on duty at the nearby Grace King campus when he heard the crash. Matranga raced into the water and smashed out the windshield to try to get to the victim. However, the car began to turn to the side and Matranga had to try to enter through a broken window on the passenger side. He was eventually able to get the 79-year-old woman to safety.
In addition to Matranga, some citizens who were in the area also jumped in the water, as did some EMS first responders.
Friday, interim Sheriff Joe LoPinto awarded Matranga the honor.
"I was just doing what I was trained to do," said Matranga.