Good Samaritan Rescues Elderly Man From Claremore Lake - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Good Samaritan Rescues Elderly Man From Claremore Lake

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This image shows the wreckers trying to recover the man's vehicle from the lake. This image shows the wreckers trying to recover the man's vehicle from the lake.
Darrin Blunkall dove into the water to rescue the man. Darrin Blunkall dove into the water to rescue the man.
The curve where the elderly man went off the road and into the lake. The curve where the elderly man went off the road and into the lake.
The elderly man's mini-van after it was pulled from the lake. The elderly man's mini-van after it was pulled from the lake.

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

ROGERS COUNTY --A Rogers County man jumped into Claremore this week to save a man in his 70's who accidentally drove his car into the water.

It happened Monday afternoon.

Darrin Blunkall had his youngest son Adam with him, and was on his way to pick up his other three boys from school, when he saw a mini-van go into the water, with a man in the driver's seat.

He told Adam to stay put and dove in the lake.

"I swam to him. As soon as I got to him, he grabbed my shoulder and pulled me under," Darrin said. "I got back up and calmly told him to calm down, I'm here to help you. I'm going to put my arm around you and tow you to safety. Just keep your head up and kick your feet."

Darrin fought the chilly waters and the current, made it back to shore and, with the help of two men, got the gentleman onto the bank, but, by then, he'd taken in too much water. So, before Darrin could even catch his breath, he had to act again.

"I felt for a pulse on his neck and wrist. Never found anything," he said. "I started chest compressions and on the 10th one, he bubbled. Air come out and bubbles come out and I rolled him over on his side."

Emergency workers credit Darrin with saving the man's life.

"There wasn't a moment's hesitation in him going into the cold water," Sheriff Scott Walton, Rogers County, said.

Had no one seen the van go in, Darrin fears a family would be grieving right now. He says it's been very emotional for him and he appreciates those close to him more than ever.

Darrin Blunkall: "I think more of my family, my kids, my mom and dad, my sister, everything else in life."
Lori Fullbright, News On 6: "Makes you appreciate…"
Darrin Blunkall: "Life is too short. You never know, a split second, it's gone."

The gentleman is out of the hospital and his daughter is in town from out of state to be with him. He told one of the wrecker drivers he accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake when rounding the corner by the lake.

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