KYTC officials recognize employee who saved man during July floods

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 5:18 PM EST
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - After flooding rocked the region in late July of 2022, the first folks to get on the drenched, damaged roads were crews with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) trying to repair and clear them.

“We had a lot of stories coming out right after the flooding of our men showing, you know, great sacrifice, doing things to help others, you know, several of them were affected themselves,” said KYTC District 12 PIO Shantana Woodward.

21-year-old Daniel Smith was one of many highway technicians who were out on the roads soon after the flooding, but when he heard a call for help, he sprang into action.

Smith said he was working in the Longfork community of Pike County when he heard a woman yelling for help after her husband had fallen into the rushing flood waters.

“I just knew something bad was happening and that I had to get to him and help out,” said Smith. “[I] seen his head bobbing up and down, he was hanging from a limb, and I ran over, I was first one to get to him, and he was able to reach to me and I grabbed him and pulled him up on the bank.”

On Thursday, Smith was recognized for his bravery by KYTC officials and was presented with a Heroic Action Safety Award.

Daniel Smith’s father, Danny Smith, who retired from KYTC shortly after the floods, said he and his mother, Brenda Smith, are proud.

“He always got to hear the stories that I always, you know, bring home to him whenever he was a little boy, growing up, dad worked for the cabinet,” said Danny Smith. “Now I’m at home and he can come home and tell me the stories, the things that he’s doing and stuff.”

Daniel Smith added his actions were all instinctive as soon as he heard the woman call out for help.