Michael Calderone saved Elena DeFrancesco from drowning, Westport, Ontario, August 19, 1995. Ms. DeFrancesco, 20, was one of 11 occupants of a van that, failing to negotiate a curve in the highway, rolled down an embankment, entered Wolfe Lake, and began to submerge in water about eight feet deep. The driver and most of the other occupants of the vehicle escaped through broken windows, but Ms. DeFrancesco lost consciousness and remained inside. Driving ahead of the van, Calderone, 21, college student, saw the accident and responded to the scene. He immediately entered the lake and swam to the van while it was still sinking. After pulling one of the victims through a window, Calderone then dived repeatedly in search of others. Opening the back doors of the van, which by then had sunk and was settled against a boulder on the submerged embankment, he removed luggage to create egress for the victims. Learning that Ms. DeFrancesco and another woman were unaccounted for, Calderone moved to the passenger side of the van, which was lower in the water, and, groping repeatedly through a broken window, located Ms. DeFrancesco. He removed her from the van, surfaced with her, then towed her to the bank and revived her. Another man rescued the other victim. Ms. DeFrancesco was hospitalized five days for treatment of her injuries, from which she recovered. Calderone received treatment at the scene for minor cuts, and he too recovered.
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