A Detroit man has become the just the fourth American to be recognized for heroism by the Ontario Provincial Police. Charles Devowe was on a day trip to Canada when he stopped to investigate some debris on the road. That was when he heard screaming children and saw a rolled-over vehicle in the creek at the bottom of an embankment.
After getting a passing car to call for help, Devowe plunged into the water and rushed to the vehicle. After assessing that the mom was likely beyond help he desperately tried to free the children and hold their heads above water.
Help came in the form of a passing trucker with a knife.
From Detroit Free Press:
“”I held the little boy’s face with one hand and grabbed the little girl’s foot with my other hand, pushing her out of the water,” said Devowe. “I watched (Kristin Beaudry) die in front of me, and that was hard.”
Devowe said he had to stand in the creek holding the two children up for about 10 minutes before additional help arrived.
Matt Parker, a semi-truck driver, stopped and raced down to the sinking vehicle to help Devowe.
“Parker dove into the water immediately trying to find a way to free the little boy, while I continued to hold his head,” said Devowe. “Parker gave a knife to the boy and the boy managed to cut himself free of the seat belt.”
Once the boy was free, he ran out of the creek and up the hill to safety.
Devowe and Parker then shifted their attention to saving the little girl. Somehow, the two men got the doors unlocked and were able to free her.”
If you don’t have a small first-aid & get-home kit in your car, you definitely should. And that kit should probably include an extra knife or seat-belt cutter. My fishing truck is my most kitted vehicle, with the Cold Steel Mackinac Hunter still serving in the role of “Truck Knife”. I need to work on the others.