Jerry D. Hanks helped to save Janet L. Hlas, Lillie L. Pustek, and Marjorie L. Maslanka from drowning, Bloomington, Indiana, June 26, 1998. Sisters Ms. Hlas, 63; Ms. Pustek, 60, and Ms. Maslanka, 64, were occupants of a van that, at night, was accidentally driven from a boat ramp into Lake Monroe. On the bank of the lake near the ramp, Hanks, 47, meat cutter, saw the accident, then immediately entered the water and swam to the van, which drifted to a point about 120 feet from the bank. Another man, who was on his boat nearby, also saw the accident and swam to the van. Hanks and the other man attempted to gain entry to the van through its windows and doors, but they were not successful. The van started to submerge nose first in the 20-foot-deep water. With a rock that the men obtained from the bank, the other man broke out the van’s rear, passenger-side window, providing egress for the women, who were nonswimmers. Ms. Hlas was the first to exit the vehicle; the other man swam her toward the bank, meeting a woman who took her the remaining distance to safety. After emerging next from the van, Ms. Pustek submerged Hanks, but they resurfaced, and Hanks took Ms. Pustek to the bank. Having returned to the van, the other man secured a hold on Ms. Maslanka, who exited the van as it submerged, and swam to the bank with her.
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