NC inmates on road project help officer suffering from stroke

The Bladen County, N.C., Sheriff's Office. Three prison inmates helped a part-time sheriff's office employee who suffered a stroke, officials said. (Facebook)

Three North Carolina prison inmates are being praised for helping a part-time sheriff's office employee who suffered a stroke while overseeing roadside cleanup duty.

According to the Bladen County Sheriff's Office, roadside supervisor James Smith "suffered a medical condition" while working with the inmates in Elizabethtown Wednesday.

"Those inmates stood by with Mr. Smith and stopped traffic to get help for him," said the sheriff's office, which noted that there "were so many other options [the inmates] could have taken."

The Bladen Journal identified the inmates as Roy William Smith, Rosendo Morales-Sanchez, and Franklin Edens Jr., and said the three called 911 with James Smith's cell phone and waited with him until help arrived.

All three inmates were honored with special awards during a promotion ceremony Thursday afternoon.

FOX News contributed to this report. This story was reported on from Charlotte, N.C.