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MOM GOT TO SEE SON AWARDED CHP VALOR MEDAL AS DYING WISH.

Byline: Greg Botonis Staff Writer

LANCASTER - Lesley Peavy battled cancer for more than seven years, knowing every day that the disease was taking its toll.

But when she was told that her son, California Highway Patrol Officer Jason Peavy, had been nominated for a Medal of Valor, she swore she would hang on long enough to see him get the award.

And little more than 48 hours after watching the awards ceremony, Lesley died at a local hospital, surrounded by her family.

``She really wanted to see him presented with it,'' CHP Lt. Andria Witmer said. ``Jason said she was really looking forward to that. She was so proud of him.''

Jason was given the award - the state's highest honor for public safety officers - at a special ceremony at the Lancaster CHP office because of his mother's failing health.

Normally the medals are presented every two years by the governor to law enforcement officers from all over the state who are nominated.

At a special ceremony two months ago by the state attorney general, Lesley was walking and in good spirits. When her son was presented the award at the Lancaster office Friday, she was in a wheelchair.

``The reason we moved it up and had it here was because of his mother's health concerns,'' Witmer said.

Witmer even went as far as trying to arrange the event to be held in Sacramento, with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but scheduling problems prevented that plan.

``I'm just glad we did it when we did,'' Witmer said. ``It really worked out.''

Jason Peavy was presented the Medal of Valor for trying to rescue Jesse James Rodriguez, 20, of El Centro, who lost control of his car and drove into the California Aqueduct on Jan. 10.

Also attending the awards ceremony was Dave Pizinger, who was critically injured in a July 21 crash on the Antelope Valley Freeway. Peavy comforted Pizinger - whose ultimately lost both his legs - until paramedics arrived.

A funeral for Lesley Peavy will be held at noon Friday at Eternal Valley Mortuary. Four of her son's friends will serve as pallbearers.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

CHP Officer Jason Peavy wheels his mother, Lesley Peavy, into the room in Lancaster where he received his Medal of Valor. She died a little more than 48 hours later.

Jeff Goldwater/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 9, 2004
Words:388
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