Michael D. Evans, Jr., saved Jack E. Bailey from drowning, Catoosa, Oklahoma, February 27, 2006. Bailey, 72, was trapped inside his car after it left the highway, entered a 10-foot-deep retention pond, and started to submerge nose first in the 40-degree water at a point about 75 feet from the closest bank. He released his safety belt but could not open the driver’s door. Evans, 31, electrician, was working at a pole about 375 feet away and witnessed the accident. He immediately descended to the ground and ran to the pond. After removing his coat and hat but keeping on his work boots, Evans entered the water and swam to the car, the rear end of which was still exposed. He attempted to open the driver’s door but was not successful. Surfacing, Evans reached for and opened the rear door on that side of the car. He submerged again, reached into the car, and, grasping Bailey by the hair, pulled him from the vehicle.. They surfaced. After pausing against the rear of the car, Bailey swam to the bank and Evans looked for others inside the vehicle. Two men aided Bailey from the pond, after which Evans returned to the bank. Bailey was taken to the hospital for observation but was not detained. Evans was cold after the rescue and sustained sore muscles, and he developed respiratory distress that caused him to miss four days’ work. He recovered.
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