Published: Aug 30, 2010 8:16 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 30, 2010 5:16 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - A Charlotte County deputy is getting statewide recognition.

K-9 Corporal Emmett Merritt Junior was named by the Florida Sheriff's Association as runner-up for "2010 Deputy Sheriff of the Year."

In February, Merritt responded to a traffic accident on Veterans Highway in Port Charlotte.

The mother who had been driving ran to a nearby lake and was trying to drown her two small children.

Merritt wrestled the children away from her and got them safely to shore.