CEDAR FALLS — Three Northeast Iowa residents have been honored for going above and beyond in saving the lives of others.
During a Thursday ceremony at the Iowa State Fair, Gov. Kim Reynolds recognized Cory Johnson, Jeffrey Friedlein and Jack Wassom for rescuing people in three separate accidents. She also gave recognition to four others for incidents in other parts of the state.
Friedlein received the Lifesaving with Valor Award, presented to those risk their own lives to save others, and Johnson and Wassom received Lifesaving Awards.
- Friedlein fought back flames to save a woman trapped following a vehicle crash in Clayton County on June 12, 2017.
Lillian Horstman was the front seat passenger in a vehicle traveling west on Garber Road around 4 p.m. when the vehicle veered into a ditch, rolled onto its top in a cornfield and caught fire. A rear passenger was thrown from the wreck, and the driver escaped the vehicle, but Horstman was knocked unconscious and trapped inside, according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
Clayton County Deputy Tim Englehardt and Guttenberg Officer Kari Hoyheim arrived at the crash scene and attempted to extinguish the fire. Friedlein overheard the fire call and saw the black smoke, and he grabbed two large-capacity fire extinguishers from his dump truck and went to the scene.
Friedlein and Englehardt used the fire extinguishers to knock down the fire before firefighters arrived and fully extinguished the flames.
Rescue crews removed Horstman from the vehicle and she spent more than two weeks in the hospital and a month at a rehabilitation facility. The other passenger later died.
- Johnson is credited with saving the life of 3-year-old Tate Manahl after the child became trapped under his father’s riding lawnmower in Cedar Falls on Aug. 30, 2017. According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the father, Ryan Manahl, was mowing a neighbor’s lawn around 6:20 p.m. when he heard a noise as he was backing up. When he looked, he saw his son’s lower half underneath the mower.
One neighbor heard the father’s call for help and helped the father flip the mower off the child. Another neighbor, Johnson, rushed over as his wife called 911.
Johnson noticed the severe injury to Tate’s right leg and tried to stem the blood flow by fashioning his shirt into a tourniquet. When that failed, he removed his belt and cinched it tightly on Tate’s right leg and kept the belt tight until paramedics arrived.
Tate survived and is still recovering from his injuries, according to the Department of Public Safety.
- Wassom’s award comes from keeping a motorist from bleeding to death in a Clayton County crash Dec. 11, 2017.
Trucker Marlyn Van Tol was driving a semi-tractor and trailer east on U.S. Highway 18 near Dickens around 8:35 a.m. when he stopped on the shoulder to check on some loose straps. As he stood on the traffic side of his semi-tractor trailer, a pickup pulling a trailer side-swiped his vehicle and struck Van Tol, severing his leg at the knee.
Wassom removed his belt and used it as a tourniquet on Van Tol’s leg to slow the bleeding until medics arrived.
Van Tol died nine days later at the hospital following several surgeries and a subsequent infection.
Others receiving award during the ceremony include:
- Randy Faux, Meritorious Service Award, who helped wake a woman and remove her from her burning house in Dallas Center on Feb. 2, 2018.
- Chad Reynolds, Meritorious Service Award, who helped his 74-year-old neighbor from her burning home in Vail on Feb. 3, 2018, after she fell from her wheelchair while trying to escape.
- Coral Franklin, Lifesaving Award, who performed CPR and assisted with a defibrillator when a bicyclist suffered a heart attack at Arnolds Park on July 28, 2017.
- Arturo Melendez, Lifesaving Award, who broke the window of a vehicle and performed CPR on a woman who went unconscious while driving in Linn County on Dec. 26, 2017.