BEAVERTON – In one of the worst moments imaginable, Scott McFarland of Beaverton showed his absolute best, and by doing so saved the lives of two young boys. This earned him the Gladwin County Sheriff’s Office Life Saving award on Tuesday, Dec. 31.
McFarland responded to a single vehicle accident that took the lives of Amber Hamilton and Richard LaFray Jr. on Dec. 14, in front of his property in Billings Township. According to police reports, despite breaking, LaFray failed to stop and flew across the ditch, colliding with a tree in the back yard of the residence. The vehicle then caught on fire.
McFarland acted quickly and called the accident into 911. He then worked to help a child who was trying to get out of the vehicle. The child, later identified as a 9-year-old male, has suffered a broken breastbone. McFarland got the boy out and saw there was another child in the van, the 11-year-old son of Hamilton, whose arms were both broken in the crash. McFarland helped the boy out of his seatbelt, which was jammed, burning his own hands in the process.
Thanks to McFarland’s heroic acts, both boys are alive and in recovery.
Mike Shea presented McFarland with the award at the Gladwin County Sheriff’s office. “McFarland’s quick, selfless actions ultimately saved the lives of the two juveniles,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
Sheriff Shea stated that McFarland was an asset to the community, and was thankful for his life-saving actions.
“It’s a miracle that anyone walked away from the accident,” Detective Sargeant James Cuddie of the Gladwin County Sheriff’s office said.
LaFray and Hamilton were pronounced dead at the scene, and had already died by the time McFarland reached the van. After saving the boys, McFarland and his wife stayed with the two boys until the ambulance came. McFarland and the two boys were all treated for injuries.