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Teen Athlete Smashes Jeep Window To Pull Elderly Man And Dog From Icy Lake.

Joe Salmon rescues man and dog from icy lake.

We never know when an ordinary day might turn deadly in front of our very eyes! Several months ago, 17-year-old Joe Salmon was spending a quiet afternoon with his mother at East Okaboji Lake in Iowa when the day took a startling turn. In between ice fishing and watching a nearby snowmobile race, Joe managed to save two lives and become a hero in his community.

Eighty-three-year-old Thomas Lee was driving to his son-in-law’s ice fishing shack on the lake when suddenly, the ice beneath his Jeep cracked and broke open. The Jeep plunged into the lake, which is about 3-4 feet deep in this area, and quickly sank. The driver panicked as he was trying to escape, and his foot got stuck between the center console and the seat.

Luckily for Thomas, Joe was close by and saw the whole accident. The teenager is a wrestler, football player, and track athlete at his high school, so he didn’t hesitate to jump into the icy lake and climb atop the partially-submerged vehicle.

Photographer Tom Gustafson happened to be operating his drone in the vicinity when the accident happened. He quickly flew over the scene and captured the whole rescue on video.

As Tom’s camera rolled, Joe and four other men who had been fishing nearby gathered at the edge of the ice to help out. Joe first dialed 911 on his phone, then waded through the frigid water and climbed on top of the Jeep. He used a knife one of the men provided to smash the back window.

“I took one step and (the water) went to about my chest,” Joe recalled. “I got on the bumper of the rear and tried opening the back door, but all the windows were locked, but one guy gave me a knife and I hit the back glass a couple of times.”

Once the glass was broken, Joe saw that there was a frightened dog inside with Thomas. He grabbed the 6-year-old dog and flung him towards the shore, where fellow heroes Corey McConnell, Kody Harrelson, Cody Chester, and Chris Parks pulled him onto the ice. After that, it was Thomas’ turn for rescue.

Joe climbed into the Jeep through the rear window and helped Thomas free his trapped foot. He then brought the elderly man out of the car and helped him to the waiting arms of the Good Samaritans nearby.

Thomas was taken to Lakes Regional Healthcare, where he received a clean bill of health! Cooper the dog was also unharmed, and people at the Okoboji Store warmed him up and kept him safe until his owners could collect him.

“I want to thank the people who helped and the store that took the dog in and dried him off,” said Thomas.

Joe said he is just grateful that he was able to help Thomas and Cooper get out of the water. He was treated for a few cuts and bruises, given some dry clothes at the store, and then returned to ice fishing for the rest of the afternoon.

Later, Joe’s track coach tweeted a video of the heroic rescue. Since the teenager lost his Nike sneakers rescuing Thomas, the coach asked the company to give him a new pair. Nike didn’t respond, but someone else did: ESPN host Marty Smith!

It’s a good thing Joe and the other men were there when Thomas and Cooper needed them! Just watching that video has us shivering and wishing for hot cocoa. Take a look at the rescue in the video below!

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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