Richard T. Baker helped to save Marie E. Buffington from drowning, Kentwood, Michigan, December 22, 1997. Mrs. Buffington, 81, was the passenger of a car that left the highway, went down an embankment, and entered a pond that was partially covered with ice. The car began to sink nose first in water 10 feet deep at a point about 25 feet from the bank. Having witnessed the accident, Baker, 36, heavy equipment operator, stopped at the scene, as did other motorists. Removing his boots, Baker waded and swam to the car, only the back of which remained above water. Another man had swum out to the car, and he broke out the rear window with a hammer and aided Mrs. Buffington onto the trunk. Baker then towed Mrs. Buffington to wadable water while the other man rescued her husband, who had been driving the car. Others waded into the pond and took the couple to the bank. Mrs. Buffington was treated for exposure to cold water, and she recovered.
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