John Chase

Joseph Radtke, 80, had gone fishing with his dog on July 17, 2023, in Vail, Colorado. As he tried to cross Gore Creek at a shallow point his dog pulled away from him. Radtke fell to his knees where the current swept him into rapids. The creek carried him downstream headfirst with his face down, striking numerous rocks that rendered him unconscious. A 53-year-old attorney of Denver, John Chase, was biking nearby with his wife and saw Radtke swept downstream. He jumped onto his bike and pedaled 600 feet on the path to a gap in a high fence to get ahead of Radtke. He slid down the steep embankment to the 56-degree water and waded out to a rock in the middle of the creek. Chase jumped into the water to intercept the unconscious Radtke and grasped him with one arm as he paddled with the other. The two men were swept downstream about 225 feet until Chase gained enough of a foothold in an area of calm, shallow water. He maneuvered Radtke to the shore with the help of a bystander. Chase performed CPR on the unresponsive Radtke until first responders took over and revived him. Radtke was hospitalized for six days but made a full recovery. Chase was bruised but recovered.