Four Central Indiana residents received an award and a big thank you for their efforts in saving the lives of a mother and her 5-year-old daughter.
On Dec. 27, Carrie Mattingly was driving her SUV when she hit a slick patch on 116thSstreet in Fishers near a lake. She lost control and broke through a fence before sliding into the freezing water. Her daughter, Ava, was with her.
Water quickly began to seep into the SUV and Mattingly began to fear the worst.
“It was colder than anything I have ever felt,” she said. “Just imagine being submerged in snow I guess. It was just unbelievable. It was breath-taking. It was paralyzing.”
She and her daughter were able to roll down the windows and climb out of the truck.
In the meantime, Rhonda Curry saw the accident and was on the phone with 911. Three others- Jeffrey Oliver, Chad Basey, and Randy Jones- all jumped in one after another to pull the mother and daughter out of the water.
Everyone got out safely and was treated at a hospital for exposure to freezing water.
“For me to actually live this is unbelievable to me,” Mattingly told Fox 59 just a day after the accident.
On Tuesday evening, all four Good Samaritans received the Hero Award from the town of Fishers at the Fishers Town Council meeting. They were also re-united with Mattingly and her daughter for the first time since the accident.
“I definitely wanted to get faces to go along with the names that I had heard about,” she said.
“I’m just glad we’re all okay,” said Basey, as he hugged Mattingly.
Each hero also received a drawing from Ava and two little words, “Thank you.”
Since the accident, she has had her sixth birthday and lost her front two teeth. Her mother said she could never give enough thanks for a second chance at life.
“We are so grateful,” said Mattingly. “Grateful is an understatement.”
Jones said it was a life changing experience for him as well.
“This hit home,” he explained. “Able to see them, knowing that they get to experience what I experience with my kids.”
“There’s just not a word big enough to thank’em, you know?” said Mattingly. “To label them heroes just seems like an understatement. They’re just so much more than that to us.”