Coffee County deputy presented prestigious Medal of Honor

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Jace Holley has spent all of his adult life in public service. He's a former military police officer, currently serves in the National Guard, and he's also a Coffee County deputy.

Coffee County Deputy Jace Holley is presented legislature's Medal of Honor in Montgomery on May 16, 2019.

Last June, Holley was on patrol along a rural highway north of Enterprise when he got word there had been a head-on collision about a mile away.

When he arrived at the crash scene, he discovered a passenger van on fire and the flames spreading quickly. Holley went inside that burning vehicle three times to rescue three children, the oldest 14.

“I just thought about what needed to be done to get the people out of the vehicle,” Holley said after state legislators presented him with the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor.

“Deputy Holley, you did what so many of (us) try to do and that's protect our young,” said Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) who attended Thursday's ceremony.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall also commended Holley. “A hero is someone who steps up when everybody else backs down,” he said.

Coffee County Sheriff Dave Sutton nominated Holley for the award. “When somebody does something (like Holley did) and there's a chance to get them recognized, not only locally but statewide, then you need to do it.

Three other people died in the accident.