On 5 March, during the Montpelier High School Winter Sports awards ceremony, Dalton Surbey was recognised by the Veterans of Montpelier with the presentation of the American Legion Heroism Medal. The citation read as follows:
For an extraordinary act of heroism after being seriously injured in a traffic accident during near blizzard conditions in Williams County Ohio.
Mr. Dalton Surbey distinguished himself by his heroic actions after being involved in a traffic accident on the morning of 14 February 2015. That day he was traveling on Ohio State Route 576 between County Roads H and I when, in whiteout conditions, he came upon a traffic accident. He exited his vehicle to check on the other drivers, at which point Surbey’s vehicle was struck. Surbey checked on Mr. Duane Ward, who was also standing outside of his vehicle, when both men were struck by a pickup truck and thrown several feet. Ward was lying in the roadway, unable to move from incapacitating injuries. Surbey heard Ward’s screams in the confusion. With total disregard for his own safety and ignoring his own pain from three fractured vertebrae, Surbey immediately recognized the danger Ward was in, got to his feet and drug Ward from the roadway to the shelter of a ditch. After ensuring Ward was safe, Surbey continued to ignore his own injuries and checked on the other vehicle occupants.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Michael McClain credited Surbey’s actions with saving Ward from further injury or death as other vehicles, seven in total, became involved in the pileup. His exemplary bravery is a credit to himself and his family.