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Independent Voice

Caltrans Hero Awarded State's Highest Honor for Public Servants

Dec 28, 2021 12:00AM ● By Department of Transportation Press Release

Royce Hiner was awarded the State's Highest Honor for Public Servants. Photo: Caltrans

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The State of California has awarded Caltrans Highway Maintenance Leadworker Royce Hiner with a Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor for courage in the face of danger. Hiner received the Silver Medal of Valor for risking his life to save another.  

“Many honorable servants to the state of California risk danger as part of their everyday duties. But occasionally someone goes beyond the line of duty to display extraordinary courage in the face of danger,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Royce Hiner is one such public servant. We honor and thank him for his bravery and are proud to have him in our Caltrans family.” 

Hiner was traveling to a routine maintenance call on July 25, 2018, on Interstate 5 near Corning, when he encountered a van that was on fire. He stopped to help the driver, who was frantically trying to put the fire out. Hiner advised the driver to stay clear from the van as he worked to free a dog that was still in the vehicle. He was pulling the man away from the vehicle when it suddenly burst into flames. Hiner ensured the man remained safe until first responders arrived at the scene. 

The State Employee Medal of Valor Award is the highest honor California bestows on its public servants. Governor Edmund G. Brown Sr. presented the first awards in 1959. Today nearly 700 state employees have earned that honor for displaying bravery, courage, and selflessness in the face of danger.