Tracy J. Olson saved Ann P. Adamski from drowning, Port Richey, Florida, May 7, 2003. Ms. Adamski, 87, was the driver of a car that left the roadway, entered a canal, and began to sink nose first in water nine feet deep at a point about 20 feet from the bank. Olson, 41, laborer, witnessed the accident from his home on that bank. After reporting it, he responded to the canal, taking a hammer with him. Despite his limited swimming ability, Olson waded and dog-paddled to the car, then, using the hammer, broke out the rear window on its driver’s side. He entered the car partially, head first, and released Ms. Adamski’s safety belt, then withdrew. Ms. Adamski crawled onto the back-seat area, the car sinking more quickly by its taking in water through the broken window. Olson pulled Ms. Adamski from the car. A brief struggle ensued, during which Olson submerged. Resurfacing, he pushed Ms. Adamski, also a poor swimmer, toward the bank. When they reached wadable water, another man helped to remove Ms. Adamski from the canal. She was shaken but sustained only minor cuts, from which she recovered.
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