‘Saved by the Ticket’ awarded for safe driving in Winona

Matt Appel, Officer Josh Murphy receive award Thursday

About a year ago 17 year old Matt Appel was driving to work when he was pulled over for not wearing a seat belt.

Officer Josh Murphy, who was with the Winona Police Department at the time, gave him a ticket and sent Matt on his way. All but 40 minutes later Matt rolled his pickup truck. Luckily for him he was wearing his seat belt.

Today Winona County Sheriff’s department awarded both Matt and Officer Murphy with the ‘Saved by the Ticket’ award.

To this day Matt wears his seat belt, something he didn’t do before the accident.

“Traffic enforcement is probably the least liked aspect of my job in the public’s eye. I mean nobody likes to get a ticket but that really set a standard for me on the value of doing that part of my job,” said Officer Murphy.

“No it was just get in the truck turn the key and go, nothing was going to happen it was a couple of miles it was an hour it’ll be fine. I’ve done it a thousand times before,” said Matt.

Matt says he wears his seat belt every time he gets into a vehicle and holds his passengers to the same standard, something he didn’t do before the accident.