John Howard Bradbury saved John W. McKinnon, Jr., from drowning, Peck, Idaho, December 18, 1960. When the four-door sedan which McKinnon, 70, was driving, skidded from the road and started down a bank toward the Clearwater River, Bradbury, 24, student, a passenger in the sedan, opened the right front door and jumped out. McKinnon remained in the vehicle, which entered the water and stopped completely submerged headed downward on the sloping river bed. Bradbury, who was recuperating after a back operation five months earlier, removed only his coat and waded into the water. Air temperature was 32 degrees and there were cakes of ice in the water. Bradbury swam to the side of the automobile, probed with his foot until he hooked it under the top of the open doorway, and then submerged himself in water 10 feet deep. Swimming into the front section of the sedan, he felt about but could not find McKinnon, who had been swept into the rear compartment and had found an air pocket at the top of the vehicle. Bradbury twice was forced to return to the surface for air, each time retaining a toehold in the doorway and once being brushed by a cake of ice. Swimming completely into the sedan, he probed the rear section and located McKinnon, who still was conscious. Bradbury drew McKinnon into the front seat and thence out of the sedan. He surfaced with McKinnon, towed him 17 feet to the bank, and drew him almost completely out of the water. Bradbury then crawled to the road and flagged other motorists, who carried McKinnon up the bank. McKinnon and Bradbury, whose back condition had not been aggravated, recovered.
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