Ashdown man awarded medal for heroism after rescuing woman from Texarkana spillway in ‘21
TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - A man from Ashdown has been recognized for heroic acts he performed back in April of 2021.
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission says Dustin Wayne Roach, 35, has been awarded the Carnegie Medal for rescuing a woman whose car was submerged in Wright Patman Lake in Texarkana, Texas. The 29-year-old woman, Lucia Mendoza, was struggling in the turbulent spillway after her car left the road and crashed into the water on April 4, 2021. Mendoza was able to get out of the car, but was dragged under the water multiple times as the current carried her toward open floodgates downstream.
Roach, a construction worker from Ashdown, was fishing at the scene and dove into the water after seeing her struggle. He swam about 50 feet, grabbed her, and swam toward the bank. About 40 feet from the bank, Roach struggled to catch his breath and spit up some water he’d ingested. Others on the bank were able to throw him a fishing line, which he tied around his waist.
Still holding Mendoza, Roach was able to swim the rest of the way to the bank; those on shore pulled them both to safety.
The Carnegie Medal is awarded to people throughout the U.S. and Canada who risk their lives trying to save others. It’s considered North America’s highest civilian honor for heroism.
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