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Sheriff honors student who provided lifesaving first aid in fatal crash involving 3 teens

By Brittany Whitehead

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    HENDERSON COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — Henderson County Sheriff’s Office honored a local high school student last week with a Lifesaving Award for his heroic actions on Dec. 8, 2022, when he witnessed a fatal car crash in Henderson County that involved three teenagers and immediately stopped to help.

Dominic Garren, a student at North Henderson High School, was travelling down Terry’s Gap Road on Dec. 8 when he witnessed two vehicles collide head-on. One of the vehicles was occupied by three teenagers — a 2022 North Henderson graduate, Robert “Xander” Lunsford, and two North Henderson students, Madison Crawford and Kimisa Buchanan. Tragically, Crawford was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin said in a Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post Wednesday, Feb. 1, that Garren is credited with taking lifesaving measures that quite literally saved the lives of passengers Lunsford and Buchanan.

“Dominic did not hesitate and did what most adults could not do,” the Facebook post said. “He climbed into the mangled vehicle and provided first-aid to include clearing the airway and securing the spine of one of the passengers, while speaking to the second passenger who was badly injured to calm them down in order to help slow the bleeding.”

Buchanan and Lunsford, who both spent time in the hospital following the crash, joined the sheriff’s office staff and Garren’s family last week as Sheriff Griffin honored Garren with the award.

Garren is a longtime STAR (Sheriffs Teaching Abuse Resistance) Camp counselor for the sheriff’s office and is known as a student leader at North Henderson High.

“A civilian receiving an award for this is quite rare; a teenager to receive it is often unheard of,” the HCSO Facebook post said. “Dominic is a true HERO.”

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