Raleigh – License and Theft Bureau Inspector Talaya D. Vaughn of the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles was honored today with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Heroism for her July 2014 rescue of a crash victim from a burning vehicle. She received the award in an afternoon ceremony at North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.
The rescue occurred while Inspector Vaughn was traveling home from Alabama, when she witnessed a vehicle crash head on into a tree near Atlanta. The impact caused the vehicle to immediately catch on fire. The driver of the vehicle was unconscious as the fire started to engulf the vehicle.
Risking her own life, she entered the thick smoke-filled car and unbuckled the seatbelt holding the unconscious driver and dragged him out of the car. She assisted the driver until emergency personnel from the local area arrived on scene.
“Inspector Vaughn exemplifies the brave and selfless qualities that define the License and Theft Bureau as the outstanding law enforcement agency that it is,” said Motor Vehicles Commissioner Kelly J. Thomas. “Even when off duty, she responded to the emergency needs of a citizen. She risked her life to save the life of another. I speak for all employees in the Division when I say how proud we are of her heroic deed.”
Inspector Vaughn recounted, “In law enforcement, I get up, put my gun and badge on, and physically and mentally make a commitment to serve the citizens of North Carolina. It’s what all law enforcement , EMS, first responders get paid to do. We train to do better in these situations.”
Inspector Vaughn is a native of Charlotte and currently serves the License and Theft Bureau’s District IV that covers 10 counties surrounding Greensboro, including Rockingham, Caswell, Person, Guilford, Alamance, Orange, Randolph, Chatham, Lee and Harnett counties.
A video of Inspector Vaughn’s heroic effort is here.