First Responder Couple Awarded for Pausing Nuptials to Rescue Car Crash Victim
Sep 2, 2021
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today presented Back the Blue Awards to a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy and correctional officer for the couple’s heroic response to a car crash that occurred during the duo’s wedding festivities.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I am blown away by the quick thinking and dedication shown by Deputies Christopher and Taylor Rafferty. As Florida law enforcement officers, it was second nature for them to drop what they were doing to help a citizen in need—in the middle of their wedding festivities. I could not be more grateful for the efforts of this bride and groom. Because of their selfless service, on their wedding day, a citizen in desperate need of help was rescued.”
On Dec. 12, 2020, while posing for wedding photos, Marion County Detention Deputy Taylor Miller and Road Deputy Christopher Rafferty witnessed a traffic crash occur steps from the wedding venue. Without hesitation, the couple immediately paused the photo session to respond to the crash. While still dressed in a wedding gown, Miller began to direct traffic away from the scene of the crash with the help of Rafferty until on-duty first responders arrived. While the couple directed traffic, the maid of honor, Deputy Samantha Horne, also rushed to the scene to stabilize the victim—a pedestrian struck by a vehicle while crossing the street.
Once on-duty first responders arrived on scene and tended to the victim, the wedding ceremony commenced. The bride, Taylor Rafferty née Miller, began with MCSO in 2017 as a classification specialist and later trained to become a correctional officer with a sponsorship by the agency. The groom, Christopher Rafferty, began with MCSO in 2014 as a correctional officer and became a road deputy by 2016.
The couple’s heroic actions come as no surprise as each have been recognized by MCSO for outstanding work within the agency. Christopher Rafferty, a certified drug recognition expert, was Deputy of the Year in 2020 and Taylor Rafferty was cited for her actions during a hostage situation at a local hospital in 2019.
Attorney General Moody launched the statewide Back the Blue campaign soon after taking office in 2019. The campaign highlights law enforcement officers, citizens and organizations taking extraordinary steps to forge positive relationships between law enforcement and local communities. Since its inception, Attorney General Moody has issued more than 40 Back the Blue Awards.
To nominate a law enforcement officer, citizen or organization for a Back the Blue Award, or for more information about Attorney General Moody’s Back the Blue campaign, click here.
# # #
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Back the Blue campaign highlights law enforcement officers, citizens and organizations taking extraordinary steps to forge positive relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Supporting law enforcement is a top priority for Attorney General Moody and the mission of Back the Blue is to commend Florida’s brave law enforcement officers and Floridians who back them.