INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - An Indiana photojournalist used some quick thinking and tips he learned from authorities to save a woman who was trapped inside her vehicle after crashing into a frigid canal.
Greg Dunn, who works for WITI in Indianapolis, said he was on his way to work Wednesday morning when he heard a "bumping" sound. That was the sound of a van behind him hitting the curb and going into the water. The car ended up submerged upside down in Indianapolis’ Central Canal. He stopped and took action.
"I tossed my phone to another lady and told her to call 911," Dunn told WITI. "Against my better judgment, I climbed down the side of the canal and got into the water. As I was climbing down, I started to hear her scream, and it scared the heck out of me."
Dunn said he took it "one step at a time" to get into the frigid water and help the stranded woman. The car's back window was broken; so he reached in, grabbed her hand and helped her to safety, WITI reported.
The rescue took less than 90 seconds, the Indianapolis Star reported.
"I don't know how I did it, really. She was soaking wet and scared out of her mind," Dunn told WITI. "I just did a story with (the Indiana State Police) on how to help people out of cold water. Their first tip was to get your head about you. So I just tried to force her to look at me and try to not be so hysteric. I tried to calm her down, and I half-carried her. She sort of stumbled when we got back to shore. Two ladies who stopped behind me were able to reach down and grab her, and I pushed her up."
Dunn knows that icy water can be deadly. His mother, Miae Dunn, died in 2007 after she tried to save the family dog, Foster, from an icy lake behind their home, WITI reported.
"The dog made it back to shore," Dunn told the Star. "He lives with me now."