Local hero tells story of risking life to save boy submerged in icy water

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) — This year’s annual American Red Cross Heroes event in Utah honored 13 people and a dog in the community for their heroism.

From good Samaritans, to first responders and even a dog, who saved a life and made our community better.


Ordinary heroes who did extraordinary things in the toughest of circumstances.  The Red Cross event is part of the humanitarian mission of the organization.  It hopes to inspire others just like how Sgt. Thompson is doing when he saved a boy’s life.

It was back on Christmas day when an 8-year-old boy was submerged in icy water. Luckily, Sgt Aaron Thompson was at the right place at the right time.

“I was standing there watching the little boy drown,” said Vicki Nelson, witness. Vicki Nelson is the boy’s teacher.

Sarah Jeffs was watching after Jason Barlow and his friend when their dog fell through the ice.

“I turned around for a split second Jason had run out and there he fell in.”

She called 911.  It would take Sgt. Thompson with the Washington County Sheriff’s office an agonizing 10 minutes.

“To hear those boys scream is more than I could handle.”

Sgt. Thompson with just a t-shirt and pants, jumped into the frigid water. But after a few minutes and no Jason, the sergeant thought he’d have to give up.

“Hypothermia was setting in. It was hard to breath.”

Sgt. Thompson took one look back at the shore and made another heroic decision.

“I’d seen Vicki’s desperation on her face. I knew I couldn’t give up.”

And that’s when the little boy came floating up under the ice.
 
A few more seconds the outcome would’ve ended tragically. Sgt Thompson also says it took an entire team to save this boy’s life.

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