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Good Samaritan saves 19-year-old from Fox River's icy water

Posted at 3:52 PM, Feb 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 17:10:31-05

WHEATLAND -- A 19-year-old man is recovering after his car veered off County Road W into a creek near the Fox River in Kenosha County.

“Immediately, when I saw him waving and I heard a faint yell for help, I couldn’t believe what I thought I just processed. So, I parked my truck right away and got out and looked and confirmed there was a car in the creek and a person standing on ice screaming for help,” Matthew Snoerk said.

Snoerk, along with Bill Fink, a Kenosha County Division of Highways patrol worker, used a tow strap to pull the 19-year-old to safety.

Snoerk said he usually keeps the tow strap in has car and has used it in the past to help pull cars out of a ditch, but Thursday morning was the first time he used it as a cold-water rescue apparatus.

“It’s a tremendous feeling, just knowing that this could’ve went really, really bad in a number of different ways… I don’t know how long he would've stayed there for if nobody stopped [and] I had the ability to,” Snoerk said.

At the time, just before 6:30 a.m., Snoerk wasn’t dressed for the weather.

“I had on a pair of flip-flops, and shorts, and a jacket. I literally just got up, threw on something comfortable and I was going down to get my son,” Snoerk laughed.

But his apparel didn’t stop him from jumping into action —with the help of a Fink, Snoerk pulled the 19-year-old to safety.

“As they got up, I was able to reach down and grab the guys right hand, the county worker's left hand, we both gave him a heave ho and brought him up and pulled him over the guard rail,” Snoerk said.

The 19-year-old was then taken by ambulance and his vehicle was towed out of the creek.