Va. Deputy Saves Woman's Life by Lifting Vehicle Off Her Head After Crash: 'Tremendous Act'

"Deputy Holt never ceases to amaze us and has the unique ability of being in the right place at the right time," Sheriff Darrell W. Warren Jr. tells PEOPLE

Deputy J. Holt
Deputy Jon Holt. Photo: Gloucester County Sheriff's Office

A Virginia deputy is being praised as a hero after saving the life of a woman whose head was pinned underneath an overturned car.

The Gloucester Sheriff's Office commended Deputy Jon Holt for his "tremendous act" in a post on Facebook Tuesday, which includes Holt's body-camera footage showing the harrowing rescue.

According to the sheriff's office, Holt was called to the crash on May 7 and found "an overturned vehicle with an entrapment" at the scene.

"The driver was laying underneath the vehicle with her head pinned by the sunroof," the sheriff's office explained in their post. "Seeing the trauma her child was witnessing, Deputy J. Holt went into overdrive."

As shown in the footage, a person stood outside the overturned vehicle as Holt approached and yelled, "She can't breathe."

Soon after, Holt's footage captured a child inside the car crying out, "Mommy."

Holt quickly jumped into action — first, by telling the boy to leave his mom's side and come to him. Then, he focused on the woman inside the vehicle, who was still in trouble.

The camera went black, but audio captured the deputy grunting as he lifted the car and released the woman's head from the sunroof. Afterward, Holt asked her, "Is your head clear?"

In their post, the sheriff's office credited Holt's "sheer will and determination" for saving the woman's life and making sure she did not "succumb to her circumstance in front of her panic-stricken child."

"Deputy J. Holt took quick action and was able to physically lift the vehicle up enough for the driver to maneuver her head out to safety," the sheriff's office wrote in the post.

Amazingly, the rescue came just three months after Holt was given both the local and regional Top Cop Awards from the Greater Hampton Roads Regional Crime Line for saving two people from a burning house in 2020, according to the sheriff's office.

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In a statement to PEOPLE, Sheriff Darrell W. Warren Jr. praised Holt for his commitment to public safety.

"Deputy Holt never ceases to amaze us and has the unique ability of being in the right place at the right time," Warren says. "Holt recently received the 'Top Cop Award' for our entire regional based on his rescue of two disabled individuals in a structure fire."

"A few years prior, he used his department-issued AED to save the life of a highway worker who had collapsed on the side of the road after suffering a major heart attack," he continues. "As you can see in the video of the accident, Holt is calm in the chaos, confident and very professional."

"I am very proud of his actions yet again and we are fortunate to have him on our team," Warren adds.

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