Lasca Joy Grytness saved Will H. Simpson from drowning, Shelton, Washington, May 1, 1962. When his pickup truck veered from the highway and plunged down a steep bank into a swamp fed by mill waste, Simpson, 45, plywood machine operator, sustained rib fractures and lost consciousness. He was wedged against the steering wheel as the truck sank steadily in water seven feet deep 35 feet from the bank. Mrs. Grytness, 33, homemaker, and other motorists stopped at the scene. Although she was a poor swimmer, Mrs. Grytness removed only her jacket, slid down the bank, and entered the water. Holding her head high to keep it clear of slime on the surface, she swam to the side of the truck. She located the handle of the door and with effort pulled it open. The water was up to Simpson’s chin as Mrs. Grytness while holding to the door reached into the cab and took hold of him. Simpson partially revived, tried to free himself, and then again became inert. Pulling hard, Mrs. Grytness drew Simpson, who weighed 35 pounds more than she, from the cab. Mrs. Grytness tired rapidly as with effort she towed Simpson to the bank, where the water still was beyond her depth. By then the truck was totally submerged. A man pulled Simpson onto the bank and aided Mrs. Grytness, covered with slime, out of the water. Simpson was hospitalized and recovered.
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