CRANE, Ind.—Toby Evans, United States Navy veteran and electronics technician at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division, received a Medal of Valor for saving the life of a peer in a near fatal off-road motorcycle accident in September 2016.
The Medal of Valor is considered the highest award issued to civilians “for extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty.” The Medal of Valor was awarded by the Commander of Naval Sea Systems and presented to Evans by Captain Oesterreich on July 30.
“I didn’t understand the magnitude of my actions until days later,” said Evans.
Evans was riding off-road motorcycles with some friends, when one of the motorists, Kephon Stevens, crashed his bike, breaking five vertebrae and eleven ribs, experiencing burns, severe bruising to the spinal cord, and collapse of both lungs. Evans managed to keep his friend alive for thirty minutes before medical professionals arrived using skills learned during his nine years in the Navy.
“I can’t take credit for saving Kephon. It was a team effort and I was just the first part of the process.”
After being admitted to the hospital, Stevens continued to struggle for his life, going into cardiac arrest twice after being admitted to the hospital. After ten days and several surgeries, Stevens was admitted to Frazier Rehabilitation Center.
“Racing is 90% mental—and that’s why I admire Kephon,” said Evans. “When I first visited him in rehab, he told me, ‘I’m going to walk out of here.’ And six weeks later, he did.”
Evans served as a Fire Controlman, Second Class Petty Officer, before separating from the military and beginning his career as an electronics technician. He began working at Crane in 2005, and currently serves as the facility lead for the Overhaul and Maintenance building for the Small Arms Weapon Systems Division.
“I started replaying what I did piece by piece and realized if I hadn’t done everything exactly the way I had, he wouldn’t have made it. It had to be part miracle, because there’s no way that every quick decision I made that day was 100% my instincts.”
NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. NSWC Crane is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s warfighter