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Sheriff's deputy, citizen honored for saving lives in Festival Foods hit-and-run

RACINE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- A Racine County Sheriff's deputy and a Festival Foods employee were recognized at a ceremony Friday morning for their role in saving two lives.

Deputy Karen Hernandez and Chris Dustman were given a "Life Saving Award" certificate from the sheriff's department for their quick actions on January 15.

On that day, Hernandez was trying to pull over a suspicious car but it drove off and hit Union Grove couple Cheryl and Jeff Coopman as they were leaving Festival Foods. After seeing what happened, both Hernandez and Dustman ran over to help the couple.

"This gentleman here [Dustman] was quickly taking his belt off and taking care of Cheryl's leg," Hernandez said. "After relaying everything to dispatch and letting them know what was going on, I took out my tourniquet and put it on her arm."

Jeff's sister, Sandra, was at the award ceremony on behalf of the couple because they are still in the hospital. She said Jeff had a leg amputated and Cheryl's arm and leg were severed in the incident.

"She's [Cheryl] starting to open her eyes and we're very hopeful," she said. "The doctors are hopeful too".

The suspect in this incident is 17-year-old Isaiah Degroot. He's facing 27 felony countys and is currently being held on a $300,000 bond.


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