Earl M. Sharp, 31, bus driver, saved Elva M. Crawford, 28, from drowning, Naoma, West Virginia, December 18, 1954. At night during a drizzle an automobile driven by Mrs. Crawford skidded from a highway and plunged down a steep bank into Coal River. Mrs. Crawford was thrown unconscious into the water and was carried by the swift current through an area of rapids to a submerged boulder 35 feet from the bank. The air temperature was just above freezing, and visibility was very poor. Sighting the headlights of the partially submerged automobile, Sharp alighted from his bus and descended the bank accompanied by another man. They located Mrs. Crawford with a flashlight, and the man entered the water opposite her but immediately was swept off his feet by the current and lunged to the bank. Sharp, who was fully clothed and a poor swimmer, waded six feet into chest deep water, lost his footing, and was submerged briefly. As he resumed wading and progressed 15 feet farther from the bank, he stepped into deep water, again was submerged, and drifted five feet to a boulder, where he struggled to his feet. With increasing difficulty he waded 10 feet to water at least five feet deep and lunged five feet upstream. He got hold of Mrs. Crawford, who was inert, and lifted her onto his back. As he waded carrying Mrs. Crawford to five feet from the bank, Sharp stumbled and fell. He grasped a projecting tree branch to keep from submerging and drew Mrs. Crawford to the bank. Mrs. Crawford, who was revived at a hospital, suffered head and back injuries in the accident and was disabled six weeks. Sharp was tired and chilled but recovered.
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