Elbert L. Reuter saved Robert D.; Maria B.; Clinton D., and Alberta F. Kimmel from drowning, Springville, Indiana, June 24, 1962. A pick-up truck containing the Kimmel family and driven by the father, the only one who could swim, became mired as it, forded a shallow creek during a heavy rain. Water backed up behind a barrier of logs and tree limbs across the creek broke through, moved rapidly downstream, and struck the truck, the windows of which were closed. As the water in the creek bed increased to 10 feet in depth and spread over the banks, the truck was swept downstream. Reuter, 33, limestone worker, witnessed the accident and made his way through the flooded area to atop the bank, where in water five feet deep he climbed onto the limb of a tree. The rear of the truck then struck the bank, stopping the vehicle three feet from the tree. Reuter jumped onto the cab and thence into the water alongside the right window, which the occupants lowered. Reuter drew Robert, 7, from the cab and, passing behind the truck, towed him 15 feet to a tree on the normal creek bank. He told Robert to hold to a limb until he removed the others from the cab. Reuter towed Maria, 10, and then Clinton, 12, to the same tree. He returned to the right side of the truck and was joined there by the father, who had climbed out the other window. Reuter assisted Mrs. Kimmel, 32, from the cab as the truck headed downstream and was swept past them. Twenty-five feet farther downstream the truck overturned and sank. Reuter, followed by the father, towed Mrs. Kimmel to the tree. Robert then lost his hold and was carried downstream, submerging intermittently. While the father assisted the others out of the floodwater, Reuter swam after Robert as logs and tree limbs were swept past them. Reuter reached Robert 100 feet downstream, towed him 20 feet diagonally across the subsiding current, and secured footing. Reuter, who was tired, waded thence to the edge of the flooded area with Robert.
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