Timothy Todd Herrington helped to save Hazel R. Gardner from drowning, Warren, Texas, April 4, 1999. As Ms. Gardner, 84, was driving on a highway inundated by floodwater after a heavy rain, the swift current washed her car off the roadway into deeper, turbulent water. The car was swept about 50 feet from the highway and began to submerge in water about nine feet deep. Herrington, 31, machinist, saw the accident from the edge of the floodwater. He immediately waded atop the highway to a point opposite the car, then entered the deeper water and swam to it. Ms. Gardner remained in the driver’s seat of the car. When Herrington opened the rear door on the driver’s side, water rushed into the car, taking him with it. Herrington secured a hold on Ms. Gardner to keep her head out of the rising water, then, with his pocketknife, he cut Ms. Gardner’s safety belt. After Herrington maneuvered Ms. Gardner from the car, another man arrived and helped to place her on the roof. They waited about 20 minutes on the submerged car for help to arrive. A state highway patrol officer and another man responded and, by means of ropes and a flotation device, the officer, aided by others, returned Ms. Gardner to the highway. Herrington and the two other men then followed. Ms. Gardner was examined at the hospital and was released. Herrington was cold and tired, and he recovered.
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