A Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy will receive a “Top Cop” award Thursday for risking his life to save the victim of a mountainside accident in 2015.
The Exchange Club of Fresno is honoring deputy David Raquenio at Pardini’s Restaurant at a luncheon starting at 11:30 a.m.
Raquenio was the first to arrive at the scene in which only four-wheel-drive vehicles could access. The only information he’d been given was by someone pointing toward a mountainside located a mile away. Raquenio followed tire tracks left in the muddy dirt.
He found a vehicle lying on its side several hundred feet below the trail. He found the driver, Bryce Diaz, severely injured.
Never miss a local story.
Raquenio, who has military medical training, treated Diaz for shock and stabilized him. He remained with Diaz until EMS arrived.
Search and rescue personnel arrived and set up a rope system to lift Diaz to a waiting vehicle.
Raquenio coordinated the movement of Diaz at risk of injury to himself. The move was successful, and Diaz was taken to a medical transport helicopter.
After his shift ended, Raquenio visited the hospital to check on Diaz, who had undergone open-heart surgery.
Doctors informed him that Diaz had suffered a torn aorta. They also told him that if it were not for his quick actions, Diaz most likely would have died. Diaz is recovering after several surgeries.