Brian Scott Sturgill helped to save Bernice A. and LeRoy F. Krittenbrink from drowning, Kingfisher, Oklahoma, August 19, 2007. Bernice, 66, and her husband, LeRoy, 72, were driving on an interstate highway when floodwaters the result of a tropical storm washed their pickup truck into an expanse of flooded farmland. The vehicle was carried away and remained afloat for at least an hour in the muddy water. The state highway patrol responded with an aircraft and two helicopters and lowered life jackets to the Krittenbrinks, who by then had escaped to the bed of the submerging pickup. One of the helicopters was piloted by Sturgill, 41, a trooper, who with his co-pilot and the local fire chief was readying for a rescue by basket and line when they learned that the truck had sunk. They immediately flew to the scene, deciding to pull the couple directly into the helicopter despite the risk of overloading it. Sturgill took the helicopter close to the water as the fire chief positioned himself on one of its landing skids. Since his view of the Krittenbrinks was obscured, Sturgill was directed by the co-pilot in maneuvering the craft close to them. He held it in place as the fire chief, with difficulty, grasped Mrs. Krittenbrink. Unable to pull her into the cabin, he helped her hold to the helicopter as Sturgill started for the highway, but, her strength sapped, Mrs. Krittenbrink fell back into the water. Sturgill repositioned the craft, dipping its skid into the water to snag her. The fire chief helped her to a seated position on the skid and the co-pilot held to her as Sturgill flew back to the highway, having to clear a power line en route. The three men returned for Krittenbrink, who by then was floating inert. While Sturgill positioned the helicopter close to him, again directed by the co-pilot, the fire chief, back on the skid, secured a hold of Krittenbrink. He too fell back into the water as the helicopter started toward the highway. Again Sturgill positioned the helicopter to allow the fire chief to grasp Krittenbrink. The fire chief and the co-pilot held Krittenbrink in a seated position on the skid as Sturgill returned the helicopter to the highway. The Krittenbrinks were exhausted after their ordeal, but they recovered.
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