Iowa: Teen saves man and his dog after vehicle falls into icy lake
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A 17-year-old saved the life of an 83-year-old man and his dog after his car plunged into an icy lake beneath a bridge. Hero Joe Salmon was ice fishing with his mother when the Jeep hit the water at around 3pm (9pm GMT) on February 4.
Thomas Lee and his six-year-old dog Cooper were trapped in the car after the driver drove into water beneath a highway bridge.
Corey McConnell, 30, Kody Harrelson, 26, Cody Chester, 27, and Chris Parks, 27, also helped pull the man and dog to safety.
The quintet were lauded as heroes after diving into subzero temperatures.
The incident took place off the Highway 71 Bridge on East Okoboji Lake in Dickinson County, Iowa.
Teenager helps save man, 83, and dog after car crashes before plunging into icy lake (Image: Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office)
The lake is estimated to be three to four feet deep at the location where the Jeep broke through. It is believed to have exited the road next to the bridge.
The car, recovered on Sunday, was near the bottom by the time help arrived.
Salmon broke the glass at the rear of the vehicle and retrieved the dog from the car.
He told the Des Moines Register: “I got on the bumper of the rear and tried opening the back door, but all the windows were locked, but one guy gave me a knife and I hit the back glass a couple of times.”
A teenager has helped rescue an 83-year-old man and his dog after his car plunged into an icy lake. (Image: Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office)
Lee was found in a state of shock with water up to his chest and his foot stuck but he eventually escaped.
The other men walked the 83-year-old up the snowy embankment.
Lee, heading to his son-in-law’s fishing shack at the time, said: “I want to thank the people who helped and the store that took the dog in and dried him off.”
Salmon said: “I took one step and [the water] went to about my chest.
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Salmon broke the glass at the rear of the vehicle and retrieved the dog from the car. (Image: Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office)
“I got on the bumper of the rear and tried opening the back door, but all the windows were locked, but one guy gave me a knife and I hit the back glass a couple of times.”
He added: “I’m happy that he was OK and the dog was OK.
“It was just crazy at the time. I’ve never done anything like that.”
Lee, who was uninjured, was taken to Lakes Regional Healthcare.
Salmon and the other rescuers were examined by EMTs for minor cuts and received dry close from the nearby Okoboji Store.