Berrien County road worker awarded for saving woman’s life during winter storm

Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 7:12 PM EST
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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - A Berrien County man was awarded for his heroic actions during the winter storm that buried Michiana in December.

On Thursday, Jerry Peters, an employee with the Berrien County Road Department, was presented with a “Sheriff’s Award for Excellence.” The award encapsulates his resourcefulness, perseverance, and attention to detail, which were critical to ensuring the woman was properly cared for.

According to the sheriff’s office, the day after Christmas, Peters was clearing snowdrifts with a V-Plow in Benton Charter Township around 3 a.m. As temperatures continued to drop, Peters then noticed what he thought looked like a large bag on the side of Euclid Avenue.

Thinking it was odd, Peters got out of his plow and approached the bag.

Upon closer inspection, Peters determined that instead of a bag, it was, in fact, an unresponsive woman! He immediately contacted first responders, who arrived on scene and were able to wake up the individual.

The 29-year-old woman was highly intoxicated, homeless, and told first responders she had “blacked out.” She was transported to the hospital for further medical treatment and to receive information relating to social services that would assist her.

Based on the weather conditions at the time of the incident, it was determined that without the intervention of Peters, the woman could have easily suffered from hypothermia or death.

Sheriff Paul Bailey, BCRD Director Mark Heyliger, Jerry Peters, Vice-Chair Teri Freehling
Sheriff Paul Bailey, BCRD Director Mark Heyliger, Jerry Peters, Vice-Chair Teri Freehling(Berrien County Sheriff's Office)

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