Retired Amador County Sheriff Dies After Crash

AMADOR COUNTY -- A retired Amador County sheriff died Wednesday morning after a crash.

Flags were at half-staff outside the Amador County Sheriff's Office and the county courthouse in honor of retired Sgt. Mark Lawrence.

He had a long law enforcement career with Amador County and before that with police departments in Ione and Sutter Creek.

During his time in Amador County, he held several positions but he was dedicated to investigating child and elder abuse crimes.

He retired from full-time duty in 2010 but in recent years, he worked as a court security deputy.

Lawrence was on his way to that job Wednesday morning when he crashed head-on into a large truck, dying at the age of 63.

He leaves behind a wife, four children and many grateful members of his community, among them Tracy Curtis Bidwell.

"Officer Lawrence will always be our family's hero," she told FOX40 over FaceTime from Southern California.

Twenty-seven years ago, in Amador County, Curtis Bidwell’s son was born prematurely.

After she brought him home from the hospital at 1-month-old, she said her son suffered a medical emergency, stopped breathing and turned blue.

Curtis Bidwell called 911 and Deputy Lawrence was the first to arrive and perform CPR.

"Saved my 1-month-old baby," she recalled.

Her son now works in the medical field, himself now helping save lives.

"Without Officer Lawrence my son wouldn't be helping the others that he's helping now," Curtis Bidwell said. "Every day I think of him. Every day I can remember him saving my son's life and being grateful for that."

Lawrence’s funeral arrangements have not been finalized.

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