Richard Anthony Tower saved Dorothy M. Knudsen from drowning, Horse Creek, California, September 19, 2007. Knudsen, 82, was the driver of a car that, in an accident, left the roadway, entered the Klamath River, and began to submerge nose first at a point about 50 feet from the bank. Current in the river was swift, and its water cold. Knudsen was able to lower the window of the driver’s door partially and extend the upper portion of her body from the car. Tower, 40, truck driver, witnessed the accident while approaching in his vehicle. He stopped at the scene and, hearing Knudsen calling for help, entered the water for her. Despite being fully attired, including his boots, Tower swam to the car, grasped Knudsen, and attempted both to pull her from the vehicle and open its driver’s door. As the car submerged completely, taking Knudsen with it, Tower freed her and pulled her back to the water surface. He swam toward the bank with her, en route grasping one end of a rope that was thrown to him by a man on the bank. That man pulled them the rest of the way in. Knudsen was hospitalized overnight for treatment of her injuries and hypothermia. Tower sustained sore muscles and lacerations to his legs. He missed a day’s work but fully recovered.
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