Tyler James Hance

Tyler James Hance, a 25-year-old laborer, of Fort Covington, N.Y., spotted a sinking SUV in an ice-covered pond Dec. 11, 2018, in Kirksville, Mo.

Undressing to his jeans, he waded into the 39-degree water and swam to Christian B. Perez, 62, who had been a passenger in the vehicle. Perez had left the sinking car and called for help at a point about 30 feet from the bank where water was 12 feet deep.

When Hance reached Perez, he was non-responsive. Hance grasped his shoulder and, with difficulty, swam toward a point on the pond’s bank, about 40 feet away. When Hance, still towing Perez, was within 15 feet of the bank, he submerged once. When he resurfaced, the nearly exhausted Hance called for help.

Three other men waded into the pond about 5 feet, and Hance closed the remaining distance, so they could assist both men from the pond. Medical personnel revived Perez who recovered. Hance was not injured.


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