‘Bravery and quick thinking’ saves life

Lyndeborough: Off-duty officer rescues woman from sinking truck in Amherst

Lyndeborough officer commended for rescue in Amherst while on his way to work

Lyndeborough officer commended for rescue in Amherst while on his way to work Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

LYNDEBOROUGH — A Lyndeborough police officer who helped rescue a woman from a truck that had gone into an Amherst swamp was honored at a ceremony Wednesday.

On Aug. 29, Officer Ralph McClellan was driving to work in Lyndeborough on Route 101 in Amherst when he saw a pickup truck in front of him veer off the road and overturn in a swamp near Walnut Hill Road. McClellan, who was wearing his Lyndeborough uniform, stopped and jumped into the swamp, followed by another passing motorist, James Moran, who is a Derry firefighter. The men broke a window on the truck, which was filling with water, cut the seatbelt off the driver and pulled a woman from the truck.

The driver, Debbra Hebert, 44, of Milford, was not injured. She was arrested by Amherst police and has been charged with DWI, second offense.

“By all accounts, the woman would have certainly perished had it not been for the brave conduct of Officer McClellan and Firefighter Moran,” wrote Amherst Police Chief Mark Reams in a letter to Lt. Rance Deware, the officer in charge of the Lyndeborough Police Dept. “I commend Officer McClellan on his bravery and quick thinking which saved this woman’s life. Officer McClellan is not only a credit to himself, but is also a credit to our profession.”

At Wednesday’s Select Board meeting, Deware presented McClellan with a life saving medal, describing his actions as “unselfish and extraordinary.”

The ceremony was attended by Reams and Dunbarton Police Chief Daniel Sklut. McClellan works full-time as a Dunbarton police officer and is a part-time officer in Lyndeborough.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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