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The Oakland Police Department awarded Town resident Cory Rutland with the Oakland Police Chief’s Award on Tuesday, commending him for his unselfish devotion and support to a neighbor in need.
On Feb. 16 during a severe thunderstorm, Sheena Rodriguez, 57, was crossing State Road 50 near Tubb Street with her husband when she was struck by a vehicle heading westbound. She later died of her injuries.
Rutland, a passerby, stopped to aid Rodriguez’s husband, who had been crossing the street with his wife when she was struck. Rutland remained on scene while police investigated the fatal hit and run and assisted Rodriguez’s husband.
“During this horrific tragedy, you provided comfort and emotional support to a stranger who was suffering a great anguish,” said Chief John Peek. “Throughout the evening you helped this man whom you had never met, provided emotional, psychological and physical support during his time of crisis. Many officers couldn’t help but notice your compassion and empathy during this tragic event.”
The vehicle involved is still being sought and is described as blue or a dark colored older sedan, possibly a Nissan, with a white top. It may have sustained front end damage at the time of the crash. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Oakland Police Department at 407-656-9797.