Two citizens and three Dallas police officers were honored by the city, just hours after they rescued an unconscious man who crashed his SUV into Bachman Lake.
Mark Sorely and Denise McElroy were given the Citizen Certificate of Merit by Chief Brown, and Officers Ryan Mabry and Sean Mock, along with Sgt. Matt Williamson, were given the Meritorious Conduct Award and the Lifesaving Award -- two very high police department honors.
The five spoke of their adventure earlier Friday of saving a man who drove into the lake after suffering a medical issue.
Just about 6:15 a.m., Sorely and McElroy were jogging around Bachman Lake before going to work at nearby Southwest Airlines. They saw a white SUV plunge into the water. "He was going very fast," said McElroy.
While McElroy ran to a phone for help, Sorely watched the SUV start sinking in the lake. McElroy called 911 and returned, and both made the decision to swim to the victim.
Behind the wheel, they saw the man sitting in shock. "It wasn't until the water started rising that he seemed to realize what was happening," said Sorely.
The joggers realized they could not break the window to get the man out. They watched helplessly as the vehicle sank underwater, and then police arrived.
Officers Ryan Mabry and Shawn Mock were first on the scene. They dropped their gun belts, vests, and heavy gear and plunged into the lake. They tried breaking the windows to get the driver, and Mabry finally broke through the sunroof.
"I had to feel where he was at," said Mabry. "I was able to find him and get his head up." Mabry also gave the victim some chest compressions before pulling him from the vehicle.
The officers brought the victim back to shore, then Sgt. Matt Williamson performed CPR. The man was finally conscious and talking as paramedics arrived to take him to Parkland Hospital.
At a ceremony at police headquarters, Sorely and McElroy were quick to respond to the label of "heroes."
"These guys are the heroes," said McElroy, pointing at the three officers. "We just happened to be there," her co-worker Sorely added.
Officer Mock was given some light-hearted ribbing due to his admitted fear of "lakes and dark water."
"I didn't even think about it at the time [of the rescue]," said Mock. "It wasn't until later that I just swam twice through this dark lake."
The victim is expected to recover fully. Chief David Brown said he wasn't seriously injured, and suffered only a cracked rib due to the chest compressions by his rescuers.
KDFW FOX 4
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