John A. Messina helped to save Elmer W. and Martha J. Clark from drowning, Canandaigua, New York, October 29, 1993. Clark, 83, and his daughter, Martha, 37, were in the front seat of a station wagon that dropped from a pier into Canandaigua Lake and began to submerge. From nearby, Messina, 32, landscaper, saw the accident. He immediately jumped from the pier into the lake and attempted to open the car’s passenger doors. Another man arrived and broke the back window of the car. Messina climbed through that window into the car, which was filling with water, and moved toward the front. He grasped Ms. Clark and pulled her to the back window, where the other man helped to remove her from the car. Messina returned toward the front of the car. He grasped Clark and moved him to the back window, where the other man assisted in removing Clark from the car. Messina exited the car, which then completely submerged. A boat arrived shortly and took Clark and his daughter to safety. The fire department then arrived and lowered a ladder into the water, enabling Messina and the other man to climb out of the lake. Clark and his daughter were treated at the hospital for hypothermia, and they recovered. Messina also received hospital treatment for hypothermia, and he sustained lacerations to his arms. He too recovered.
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