American Hero: Colorado Trooper Rescues Boy Who Fell Into Icy Pond

by Ben Hoffman

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) ― An off-duty Colorado state trooper plunged into an icy Greeley pond to rescue a 10-year-old boy who had fallen through the ice.

Trooper Dan Haley and the boy he rescued, Brenndan Daviet, of Greeley, were treated for hypothermia at a hospital and released.

Haley, 25, and his wife had taken their 2-year-old daughter on Saturday to the Greeley Family FunPlex, a park next to the lake. Haley said he saw Brenndan and a couple of other boys go out on the ice, then back to shore, and had just told his wife he was worried one was going to go in.

“Brenndan walked out a little farther out there than any of them previously had and I heard a big crack and he fell in,” Haley said Sunday evening in a telephone interview.

He told his wife to call 911, ran toward Brenndan and crawled on his stomach out to the boy, who was about 45 to 60 feet from shore. When Haley — 6 feet, 205 pounds — was about 10 feet away, he went through the ice, which he estimated to be about an inch thick.

“The ice cracked underneath me and I was under the water at that point. He was staying afloat because his coat wasn’t too waterlogged,” Haley said.

The water was so deep that Haley couldn’t touch bottom and was unable to get out, so he started breaking the ice and had Brenndan swim behind.

“He was amazingly calm,” Haley said.

When the boy’s coat filled with water and his head went under, the trooper grabbed Brenndan’s collar and pulled him up.

“Somehow I was able to throw him up on the ice and it was thick enough to hold his body weight,” Haley said. His wife, an emergency room nurse, stripped off the boy’s wet clothes and put a sweat shirt on him until rescuers arrived.

Haley, who figures he was in the water eight to 10 minutes, said he rested with his arms on the ice and kicked his legs to keep his body up but resumed breaking off more ice until it was thick enough to pull himself up.

He was wearing a shirt, jacket and shorts.

“The ice was really wet. I couldn’t get any traction. So I ended up doing a log roll over to the bank and climbed up on the bank,” Haley said. “I stood up and walked on the bank and just collapsed ’cause I was just so exhausted.”

By that time, police arrived and wrapped him in blankets.

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