SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (KFSM) — Four Siloam Springs Police Officers received the Medal of Valor after rescuing an 11-year-old child from a submerged vehicle on January 3, 2019.
Sergeant Jed White, Cpl. Joe Coody, Officer Travis Luper, and Officer Ashton Burden were recognized for their heroic acts on Tuesday (Oct 23).
On January 3, 2019, the Siloam Springs Police Department responded to a submerged, overturned vehicle in the retention pond near US Hwy 412. The temperature on this day was an estimated 35 degrees. When the officers arrived, the driver told them Tyner Levi Hemmitt, his 11 year old stepson, was still inside the vehicle.
The officers quickly entered the near-freezing pond and initiated the rescue efforts. While other officers arrived, they began lifting the vehicle in attempts to flip it onto its side. More officers later arrived to help, and fastly entered the pond.
They tried to flip the vehicle multiple times until some officers had to completely submerge themselves in order to successfully flip the vehicle to its side. Although the officers ended up in a near hypothermic state, the child was removed from the vehicle. and transported in an ambulance to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa where he later died.
The Siloam Springs Department said:
“Their extraordinary heroism, quick, decisive decision making, and selfless acts reflect great credit upon themselves and upholding the highest standards of the Siloam Springs Police Department its pillars and ethos.”