Hoge's Heroes: Five U of Georgia Students Dramatically Save Drowning Family Trapped in Submerged Car

Most of the time when you read about college students in the news these days you see stories about them screeching about “equity” or committing antisemitic acts. It’s easy to forget that there are a bunch of wonderful young people out there studying and learning and acquiring skills to prepare them for their adult lives.

These five University of Georgia ladies proved that point when they heroically saved a drowning family trapped in a submerged car earlier this month. 

The five sorority sisters from Kappa Alpha Theta—Eleanor Cart, Kaitlyn Iannace, Clarke Jones, Jane McArdle, and Molly McCollum—were traveling from Athens to Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations when they noticed something odd: a dust cloud below a bridge and a flash of white light.

They could have just chalked it up to a weird occurrence and kept driving, but they felt the need to make sure nobody was in trouble. It was lucky they did:

“We kind of like pulled over super fast, turn, go down this hill to this boat ramp area — and we just see this white minivan submerged underwater,” she [McCollum] said. 

The young women jumped out of their car and toward the three passengers. 

“Two of the women quickly entered the water to get the victims to safety while the others gathered supplies and communicated with emergency responders,” according to Online Athens.

Although the tale has a happy ending, it didn’t look so good for a time as a youngster in the back of the car came very close to death.

“We see the mom pop out of the car… We’re just tag-teaming, trying to get the children out of the water,” McCollum told Fox 5 Atlanta. 

The college student said that along with the mother, there were two children in the back of the car — one about 4 years old. 

“He was fully under[water] for … we think about four or five minutes,” she said. 

While one student called 911, another put her lifeguarding skills to the test by performing CPR on one of the children. 

Jones said it was a “worst-case situation” — but somehow, within a minute, the child began responding. 

“It was so surreal. I mean, the mom just went and picked up her child and we all just kind of looked at each other and instantly started sobbing,” Jones said. 

Despite the close call, the family was released without life-threatening injuries the next day. 

The University rightfully lauded their students for their bravery and awarded them an official proclamation expressing their gratitude.

“I am so proud of these heroic students and their exemplary act of courage and teamwork,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead, who presented the students with an official proclamation emphasizing the university’s gratitude for their teamwork and bravery. “They represent the very best of the University of Georgia.”

These ladies are truly heroes, as one family can certainly attest, and remind us that despite the antics of some, many young people in this country are still awesome. 

This is one in a series about everyday heroes that don’t necessarily make the front pages. It’s a chance to talk about something other than Joe’s rantings, bloated budgets, and war in the Middle East.

I’m inviting readers to send me stories of people they know or who they’ve read about who have done heroic acts—large or small, physical or otherwise—that have made someone’s life better or saved them from danger. Please email me with any tips at [email protected] or DM me on Twitter. Thanks!

Thanks for reading. Here’s more Hoge’s Heroes:

Hoge’s Heroes: Amazing Footage as Hero VT Police Officer Dives Into Icy Pond, Saves Drowning 8-Year-Old

Hoge’s Heroes Sunday: 30 High School Kids Lift Car off Pinned Mom and Baby

Hoge’s Heroes Saturday Edition: A Pod of Dolphins Saves Mama and Baby Whale

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