We're all dealing with tough economic times. Open up the newspaper and you are bombarded with dispiriting, depressing news....some of it heinous, and you sip your coffee and wonder how human beings can behave in such a depraved fashion. How can we treat each other with such cavalier cruelty?

It's not just the headline grabbers that I'm thinking about.....how about the driver who deliberately cuts you off in traffic....or the person who elbows you out of the way, steps on your foot, doesn't hold a door for you....the list goes on.

I think in the spirit of the season, I'm seeking redemption. Here's your "It's a Wonderful Life" moment...courtesy of a story I read today in my local newspaper, the Times Union.

There's hope for humanity, because there really are everday heroes out there, and I bless them for their selflessness and courage.

Three save unconscious driver from drowning after crash

By BOB GARDINIER, Staff writer
Last updated: 2:23 p.m., Friday, December 19, 2008

NASSAU -- Walter F. Koonz had some guardian angels Thursday.

Koonz, 44, was driving south on winding Route 15 along the shores of Nassau Lake when he lost control of his pickup truck, hit a guardrail, a tree and landed upside down in the lake.

"When I got there, two others were heading into the water to help him and I jumped down the embankment, went under the water and felt around inside the truck and we were able to pull him out," said Ed Moxon, a town department of public works employee who just happened to be driving by.

"He was under for about three to four minutes and when we pulled him up the embankment, he was bleeding and not breathing," Moxon said. "I was just about to start CPR on him when he gasped for air. That was a big relief for me."

Volunteers from the Nassau Rescue Squad and East Schodack Fire Department quickly responded with State Police. Koonz was rushed to Albany Medical Center Hospital. He was listed in serious condition Friday with internal injuries, said State Police spokeswoman Trooper Maureen Tuffey.

Moxon said Koonz, who lives in Nassau, was very lucky someone along the rural road saw the crash.

"One of the rescuers was a man who was driving right behind him when he went over the embankment," Moxon said. "If he had not seen it, the other two of us would likely have driven right by and not seen the truck down there."

Tuffey said the trio saved Koonz life.

Alcohol contributed to the crash, Tuffey said, and Koonz was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Moxon said he did not know the names of the other two rescuers.

"Afterward, we all stood around freezing wet, shook hands and went our separate ways," Moxon said. "Its a good feeling to know people will quickly work together to help someone else."

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Comment by Peter Lupkowski on December 23, 2008 at 10:40am
Wouldn't it be nicet o see this when you opened up your paper (or internet news site) instead of "Killed in Atlanta, Burned in Detroit...?
Comment by Bill Brierton on December 23, 2008 at 9:12am
Every now and then there are stories like this that renew my faith in humanity.
Comment by Bob Allard on December 20, 2008 at 12:44pm
Yes, there are more out there, even if its just to help open doors, shovel walkways, but there are more, that was a Great story to read.
Comment by russ allen on December 20, 2008 at 7:25am
there are more out there than are noted in the media.....
Comment by PA Firefighter on December 20, 2008 at 12:18am
After the fiasco in Cal. its good to see we still have people who care.
Comment by Jim Seargent on December 19, 2008 at 11:36pm
The stories of true selfless heroism are out there. It's unfortunate that we are constantly bombarded by stories from those who feel the need to spoon feed us canned heroes. Those in the public eye and who enjoy celebrity are all the majority of the American population want to hear about.

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