Ray E. Blankenship saved Jessica L. O’Connell from drowning, Andover, Ohio, July 2, 1987. Jessica, 2, was carried away by the fast-flowing water of a drainage ditch swollen by heavy rain. Blankenship, 36, security guard, saw her from his nearby house and ran to the ditch. Although he could not swim, Blankenship jumped into the ditch and immediately lost his footing. Submerged, he was tossed about by the current, but he reached out and grasped Jessica. Pushed against a railroad bridge, Blankenship regained his footing and carried Jessica from the ditch. Both required hospital treatment for effects of the ordeal.
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