Heroes Honored For Bravery During Trooper Shootings

By: Alex Snyder Email
By: Alex Snyder Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The state of West Virginia is still trying to heal after a tragic traffic stop ended with two state troopers dead.

It all happened along Interstate 79 near the Wallback exit last summer. West Virginia State Police Cpl. Marshall Bailey and Trooper Eric Workman were shot and killed. Roane County Deputy John Westfall and a tow truck driver, Frank Massey, also were hurt in the shootout.

On Monday, those men were awarded for their bravery. Westfall received the Purple Heart and Combat Cross, and Massey was given a citizen’s award.

Massey is just a regular guy, but he will never forget that fateful night last August when he turned from tow truck driver to hero.

"Turned around and, my vocabulary, ‘what the blankity-blank,’ and that's whenever I received my shot," Massey said. "By the grace of God, I did get back to my truck and get out of there where I could radio for help."

Before he arrived, Bailey and Workman already had been shot.

"Those guys are true heroes," Westfall said.

Bailey was killed instantly, while Workman died a few days later.

"Like I say -- I'm no hero, I'm a survivor," Massey said. "Like I say -- did what anybody else would do to try to get help to the situation."

Roane County deputies, including Westfall, arrived on the scene shortly after and found themselves in the line of fire.

"I'm fortunate I lived," Westfall said. "The vest saved my life, having a helicopter helped. For me getting shot, the scenario was probably the best for me because I had immediate assistance."

Three other deputies -- Robert Belt, Chris Legg and Chris Davis -- also were awarded Combat Crosses on Monday.

"I'm more concerned that my family went through it than me," Westfall said. "It's a terrible thing for anybody's family to go through. Eric Workman's family and the Bailey's family, I can't imagine what they're going through."

"I still struggle with it everyday and I just have to take it day by day and I miss him," said Justin Bailey, who is Cpl. Marshall Bailey’s brother.

Members of both late troopers' families still struggle, but know they have the support of law enforcement throughout the state.

"In some ways I feel like I've lost one brother, but I gained hundreds of others seeing them, and it's really helped," Justin Bailey said.

"It's just going to be a long time healing process for all involved -- amazing how one man can change so many lives," Massey said.

Westfall continues to recover and will undergo surgery again in March. He hopes to return to duty sometime later.

The families of fallen Troopers Workman and Bailey also were awarded certificates at Monday’s ceremony.


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