A California Men’s Colony employee was honored at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's 35th annual Medal of Valor ceremony.
CMC Correctional Officer Ricardo Ancheta was honored with a Silver Star medal for his acts of bravery and displaying courage in the face of peril while attempting or saving the life of another person, according to the press release sent out by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The press release said Ancheta quickly reacted when a vehicle was wedged under a semi-truck trailer as he was driving home as smoke and flames came out of the SUV's engine. He broke the back window, stayed with the victim trapped in the car and kept her from panicking until California Highway Patrol units arrived and used the Jaws of Life to free her, according to the release.
The victim also lost her son, in which Ancheta called bystanders outside the vehicle to check. The child was later found sitting by the side of the road with minor injuries.
“This year’s honorees show that the bravery and professionalism of our staff extends beyond institution walls and into the community. Our employees keep order, ensure safety, encourage rehabilitation and serve the people of California,” CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said in the press release.
Ancheta was among 98 people honored at the ceremony, which the press release said was virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.