Trucker saves Spencer Co. Jailer from being shot - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Trucker saves Spencer Co. Jailer from being shot

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Clinton Blackburn drives a truck for Apollo Oil and rescued a jailer on the Bluegrass Parkway. Clinton Blackburn drives a truck for Apollo Oil and rescued a jailer on the Bluegrass Parkway.
Spencer Co. Jailer Darrell Herndon Spencer Co. Jailer Darrell Herndon

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WDRB) -- A potential prisoner escape is prevented by a truck driver who says he spotted a juvenile choking the Spencer County Jailer.

Clinton Blackburn, of Morehead, Ky., spends life on the road driving a truck for Apollo Oil.

On Wednesday, he noticed something out of the ordinary.

"I'm just glad the good Lord put me there when he did," said Blackburn.

He was driving back from Madisonville on the Bluegrass Parkway, when he noticed a prisoner transport vehicle in the median near mile marker 15.

"I seen him fling the door open and when I looked I seen the prisoner up through the glass over the seat and had him in a choke hold," said Blackburn.

The man he saw being choked was Spencer County Jailer Darrell Herndon.

Authorities say the 17-year-old being transported slipped out of his restraints and through the safety screen.

Blackburn didn't hesitate.

"Another 8 or 10 seconds and the officer was done for. By the time I got to him he was about half lost consciousness," he said.

What happened next was something he has never experienced.

"He pulled the gun up to the officer's side and brought it up to my chest. He was hollering 'I'm gonna kill you. I'm gonna kill you. I'm gonna kill both of you right here. I'm gonna shoot you' and I said 'Good luck, cause I'm not gonna let you'," Blackburn said.

Authorities say the 17-year-old tried to shoot the jailer and the truck driver several times, but was unable to get the gun to fire.

Blackburn was focused on saving the jailer, and not himself.

"They put their life on the line every day. It's pay back. That's the way I see it," Blackburn said.

He was able to gain control and quickly stopped the teenager before things did take a turn for the worse for the jailer.

"If I had hesitated 8 or 10 seconds that man might not be here today. I was gonna give everything I have to see he was here if it cost me not going home. I didn't care. I wanted him to go home," said Blackburn.

Blackburn says he doesn't consider himself a hero for what happened.

He says he was simply trying to help one.

"They got badges, they drive fire trucks, ambulances, they're out here fighting wars. Those are your heroes. All I am is paying back a debt that they done for me," he says.  

Authorities say additional criminal charges are pending for the juvenile involved. The juvenile is now at the Lincoln Village Detention Center in Hardin County.

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