Gary Spurling saved Dennis K. Dupraw from drowning, Ferndale, Washington, November 29, 2014. At night, Dupraw, 81, became stranded in his car as he was driving on a road through a low-lying area that was flooded by the nearby Nooksack River. The car was washed off the side of the roadway, where it lodged against a post in water about 3.5 feet deep. His coworker, Spurling, 40, newspaper carrier, drove to the scene after being alerted to the accident. He entered the 40-degree water at a point about 200 feet south of Dupraw’s car and in the darkness waded through the deepening water to its driver’s side. The car was filling with water through the opened window of the driver’s door. Spurling instructed Dupraw to wrap his arms around his neck, and Dupraw did so. He then pulled Dupraw through the window and, with Dupraw on his back, returned to the roadway and retraced his path back toward his vehicle, an arriving police officer aiding them as they neared the water’s edge. Dupraw required hospitalization for treatment of hypothermia. Spurling was cold and numb after the rescue, but he recovered and returned to work.
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