On the morning of July 14, while serving civil papers in the Lee’s Creek Road area, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ronnie Manning spotted smoke as he passed by Quave Road. Deputy Manning turned around, drove down Quave Road, and spotted an upside down burning automobile in the edge of the woods. Screams were coming from inside the burning vehicle.
Deputy Manning rushed to the car and discovered two women who were trapped inside as the front of the car burned. He retrieved a hammer from his Sheriff’s Office vehicle, broke out the rear window of the car and brought two females to safety. Neither woman had injuries.
Deputy Manning saved the two women from certain death, but they did not escape arrest. Responding patrol deputies arrested the driver, Bridget Stogner, 34, a resident of Clayton Street in Bogalusa, for driving while intoxicated and careless operation of a motor vehicle. The passenger, Brittany Rebecca Purvis, 30, a resident of Ontario Avenue in Bogalusa, was arrested for possession of schedule IV drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond has not been set at this time for either woman.
“I was on the scene and talked with Deputy Manning about his heroic deed,” said Chief Deputy Mike Haley. “In a very humble manner, he simply indicated that he was only doing his job. A retired Bogalusa firefighter, Deputy Manning knew what to do and quickly did it.”
Sheriff Randy Seal was quick to praise the heroic deputy, saying, “Once he realized the two women were trapped in a burning vehicle with no means of escape, Deputy Manning did not hesitate. Grabbing a hammer from inside his vehicle, he quickly determined the rear window was the only avenue of escape from the spreading flames and broke out the window so the women could escape. Had it not been for his being in the right place at the right time and quickly responding to the dangerous situation, there most certainly would have been two fatalities. I commend Deputy Manning for his quick and decisive action. Thank you, Ronnie, for a job well done.”