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.
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.