Jordan B. Kurtzer

Jordan B. Kurtzer, right, and his wife, Brittany Kurtzer

A 49-year-old man lost consciousness behind the wheel of his four-door pickup truck, which left a Lincoln, Nebraska, road and entered a residential pond on Sept. 3, 2022. As the truck sank in water 7 feet deep, the man remained in the driver’s seat. Carnegie Hero Jordan B. Kurtzer, a 35-year-old sheet metal worker of Lincoln, saw the accident and immediately responded, running down the bank and entering the pond. Assuming the truck doors were locked, Kurtzer jumped into the truck’s bed. Another motorist responded to the bed with a tire iron, and Kurtzer used it to break the truck’s rear windshield, leaning through the opening to unlock a rear door. Kurtzer opened the rear door, but doing so caused the truck to sink faster with water flooding the car’s interior. Kurtzer entered the back-seat area of the truck, unlatched the driver’s seat belt, and reclined his seat to grab the man’s arm, pulling him to the back seats. Finding two child-sized life jackets, Kurtzer and the other motorist placed them around the man’s arm and floated him out of the truck to safety. A police officer who had responded also entered the pond and helped Kurtzer and the motorist take the man to the bank.

The submerged pickup truck after Jordan B. Kurtzer’s rescue of its unconscious driver in Lincoln, Nebraska. Photo by Jordan B. Kurtzer.