HANOVER (CBS) – A teenage girl is alive thanks to the quick thinking and heroic actions of a Good Samaritan riding his bike.
The 14 year old girl was alone on Forge Pond in Hanover when she fell through the ice.
“I was fine one second, and then bam! I plopped in,” she told WBZ-TV “I had my arms flailing and I was treading water.”
That was the dire situation she was in when Richard Cullen saw her. He was riding his bike past the melting pond when he heard a scream. He turned back and heard her yell for help.
“Initially she was up to here and then I looked over and she went down once and that’s when I went in after her,” Cullen said.
Cullen made his way toward the girl, breaking through ice with a log.
Before jumping in, he flagged down passing cars and asked them to call 911.
Ross Ferguson was in one of those cars and Russ Reynolds was in another. “He went in and I went in after him. He started to go under, so I pulled him and then another gentleman stopped so now there’s three of us in the water,” Reynolds said.
The pond is freezing and at least ten feet deep. The brave men worked together to pull the girl out.
“We were both over our heads and the ice had broken and it was awesome. A group effort,” Cullen said.
Fire Chief Jeff Blanchard says if Cullen hadn’t heard the girl yelling no one else would have. He credits his quick action with saving her life.
“If he was not there, the right place at the right time, that girl would not have survived,” Blanchard said. “He’s a hero.”
Cullen says he was just doing what anyone would have done in his shoes. “There’s nothing more than I just happened to be in the right time right place.”
The girl he saved feels differently. “Do you think he saved your life,” asked WBZ. “Pretty much, I would have become a living Popsicle by now.”
To the men who saved her life, she has these words. “Thank you and you’re awesome!”