Warren H. A. McCollum saved Loretha J. Freeman from drowning, Burlington, North Carolina, January 24, 2000. Ms. Freeman, 23, was the driver of a car that slid from an icy highway, entered a partially frozen pond, and began to submerge about 25 feet from the bank where the water was about six feet deep. She removed her safety belt and exited the car through its driver’s door. Unable to swim, she held to the door and shouted for help. McCollum, 18, forklift operator, had been traveling on the highway when he saw the accident. He immediately went to the pond, where he removed his coat and, although he suffered asthma, entered the water. McCollum waded, then swam out to Ms. Freeman, having to break some ice en route. He grasped her with one arm and with the other swam her back to the bank. They left the water and walked to a nearby house, where an ambulance was called. Ms. Freeman was cold after the rescue and she sustained a bruised leg, but she recovered. McCollum likewise was cold, and he was winded. He recovered.
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