Dennis Olson saved Joshua N. York from suffocation, Healy, Kansas, June 15, 2000. When Joshua, 11, entered an open hopper being emptied of 30,000 pounds of wheat, he became caught by the pull of the dropping grain. He shouted for help. Olson, 37, farm laborer, was nearby and heard him. He climbed 10 feet to the top of the hopper, entered it, and proceeded across the settling wheat to Joshua, who had been pulled to his waist into the grain. Olson grasped Joshua and, being drawn into the grain himself, attempted to secure himself and Joshua by holding to the framework at the top of the hopper. The draw of the wheat was too great, and he lost his grip. Able to extract himself from the wheat, Olson climbed from the hopper, dropped to the ground, and opened fully the door at the base of the hopper through which the wheat was emptying. Joshua emerged partially through the door but then became lodged there. Olson climbed back into the hopper, reached through the wheat for Joshua, and pushed on him to free him. He climbed from the hopper and dropped to the ground again, to find that Joshua had fallen free of the door. Olson revived Joshua, who was then taken to the hospital, where he was detained a week for treatment of lung damage, including surgery for the removal of aspirated wheat grains. He recovered. Olson recovered from a scrape to one hand.
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