Randy Poindexter helped to save Bernice A. and LeRoy F. Krittenbrink from drowning, Kingfisher, Oklahoma, August 19, 2007. Bernice, 66, and her husband, LeRoy, 72, were driving on an interstate highway when floodwaters the result of a tropical storm washed their pickup truck into an expanse of flooded farmland. The vehicle was carried away and remained afloat for at least an hour in the muddy water. The state highway patrol responded with an aircraft and two helicopters and lowered life jackets to the Krittenbrinks, who by then had escaped to the bed of the submerging pickup. Poindexter, 33, the local fire chief, was readying for a rescue by basket and line with the pilots of one of the helicopters when they learned that the truck had sunk. They immediately flew to the scene, deciding to pull the couple directly into the helicopter despite the risk of overloading it. Poindexter positioned himself on one of the helicopter’s landing skids as the pilots took the craft close to the water. As the pilots held the helicopter in place, Poindexter, with difficulty, grasped Mrs. Krittenbrink. Unable to pull her into the cabin, he helped her hold to the helicopter as it started for the highway, but, her strength sapped, Mrs. Krittenbrink fell back into the water. The pilots repositioned the craft, dipping its skid into the water to snag her. Poindexter helped her to a seated position on the skid and one of the pilots held to her as the helicopter flew back to the highway, having to clear a power line en route. The three men returned for Krittenbrink, who by then was floating inert. Poindexter, back on the skid, secured a hold of Krittenbrink. He too fell back into the water as the helicopter started toward the highway. Again the pilots positioned the helicopter to allow Poindexter to grasp Krittenbrink. He and one of the pilots held Krittenbrink in a seated position on the skid as the helicopter returned to the highway. The Krittenbrinks were exhausted after their ordeal, but they recovered.
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