Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Intense moments for Hyatt Hotel employees who rushed into action to save a man's life in downtown Wichita Tuesday afternoon.
Hotel workers saw the man heading across the Arkansas River just north of where the bridge crosses the waterway at Waterman Street.
The man apparently thought the river was frozen over enough to allow him to ride his bicycle over it but instead he plunged through the ice.
The employees sprung into action. While one called security for help, others were rushing to help pull the man from the river. Thanks to their quick thinking they were able to rescue him from the freezing water using a life buoy.
Tony Johnson was one of the employees who rushed to the man's aide after pulling him from the water. "We just tried to get his blood moving so he could get up," Johnson says. Employees took the man into the hotel lobby to help get him warm.
Mike Piland says he and the other employees tried to work fast. "By the time he got close enough for us to throw a buoy to him he was getting tired, Piland says.
"He was alert and everything and didn't have any problem walking when we got him out so I think he just made a poor decision. He should have taken the bridge," Piland adds.
"It feels pretty good to save someone's life," Hyatt employee Chris Campbell says, "especially in ice like that in the winter time."
No word yet on the identity of the man or why he was trying to cross the river on a bike.