MDOT employees honored for heroism

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently awarded Joe Peeples, engineer technician in the District Five Construction Division, with the prestigious Silver Ant Award.

While traveling to a construction site on the morning of Oct. 21, 2010, Peeples noticed a car with an unconscious driver, Gail Nowell, who appeared to have collided with a utility pole causing her vehicle to catch fire. After helping Nowell regain consciousness, Peeples told her that the car was on fire and she had to get out, soon realizing that she had a broken leg and was unable to walk. With the assistance from another person on scene, Peeples carried her away from the burning car and waited for the ambulance to arrive.

Peeples has been employed with MDOT for 21 years and resides in Philadelphia. He does inspections on ongoing projects in the Philadelphia Project Office, and graduated from Neshoba Central in Philadelphia.

He has two boys, Jamaal and Vadoll Peeples, as well as a stepson, Romero Osby.

MDOT also recently awarded maintenance supervisor Robert Powell, engineer technician Richard Roberts and engineering aides Jonathan Beatty, George Drake, Donald Lofton and Joe Mix for their heroic efforts. While traveling to the I-269 project site at the Cold Water Swamp in Byhalia on the morning of Oct. 18, 2010, these MDOT employees spotted a truck on fire and stopped to help. The employees made sure the driver of the Green Oak Nursery truck was safe and then unloaded the supplies on the truck. Meanwhile, an employee extinguished the fire.

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