Man Helps Rescue Accident Victim

By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief
By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief

Kodak, Sevier County (WVLT) - A Sevier County teen is fighting for his life after his car plunged into a pond, possibly in the cold water for several hours.

Although the temperature was at the freezing mark this morning, the actions of a Kodak man may have saved the teen's life.

With no idea how long the driver had been in the cold water, Walter Queen jumped in and stayed with him until help arrived.

Danny Thacker and his brother-in-law Walter Queen thought it was going to just be another Thanksgiving Day. That all changed when Danny got up to get some more coffee just before seven.

"Looking out through the window I seen something that didn't look right out there. It was dusk to dark yonder," says Thacker. "There's something wrong there and I sent my brother in law out there. I said go out there and see if that's a car over there or something because we didn't hear no crash or nothing."

Walter quickly made his way out the door.

"I seen his feet sticking out."

With the car in the cold water, Walter knew he had to do something.

"I went plum through. I went straight in through there."

Climbing in through the back window he felt he might have been wasting his time.

"You know, I thought he was dead but I said, Could you move your leg for me? And when I felt his leg, he moved his leg," says Walter.

911 was called and the wait in the cold water was a time where minutes felt like hours.

"And then I kept holding his hand and everything. Told him I know it's cold. I was cold too don't get me wrong. and I said just hang on until they get you out of here," Queen.

Rescue personnel soon arrived and pulled Hurst from the cold water and the 19-year-old was soon on his way to UT hospital via LifeStar.

"Put him on a board and got him out there. Ain't much more. Just thank his good Lord he's still going," Thacker says.

But Walter says he wasn't trying to be a hero just trying to help.

"I probably stayed in there with him about 20-25 minutes. That don't matter," Queen says.

Hospital officials said this morning Hurst was listed in critical condition.

Some good news to report now as they say his condition has now been upgraded to serious.


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