Bluck rescues neighbor who accidently drove into frozen Wills Creek

| January 23, 2018

Rusty Bluck and Michelle Allen stand in front of where her SUV went into Wills Creek, which was frozen at the time. Bluck came down to the scene with Allen’s husband and was able to rescue her from the dire situation. Contributed | Beacon

WEST LAFAYETTE – Rusty Bluck had no idea he was going to risk his life on Jan. 17, when his neighbor came running down the road trying to get help for his wife who he said had drove into Wills Creek.

“I didn’t really think too much about it at first,” Bluck said. “I just thought we would end up pulling her out.”

He grabbed a tow strap and got into his truck with his neighbor.

“When we left in my truck he was talking to her on the phone and I realized she was actually in Wills Creek (in the vehicle) and water was coming in the doors,” Bluck said. “She was probably 75 yards out there.”

He knew 911 had already been called and told himself not to do anything stupid and to wait for the fire department to arrive. Bluck took a picture of the situation with his phone and sent it to his wife Melissa so she would know where he was.

“What had happened was Wills Creek flooded and froze then snow had drifted over the ice and she had no idea she was driving on ice,” he wrote in his Facebook post explaining the situation. “She had made it about 75 to 100 yards before her car fell through the ice. I thought there is no way we are going to get her out of there or even get to the car. Then something happened. Like everything slowed down and I could think super clear and was super focused it was a great feeling. I walked on the unbroken ice carefully until I got to her car.”

Bluck talked to her through her window.

“She looked pretty scared and had been out there for over 20 minutes,” he said. “I knew we had to get her out of there.”

Bluck yelled through the passenger window asking her if she could roll down the window.

“She said no so I put one foot on the door and grabbed the luggage rack and lifted myself onto the roof of the car,” he said in his Facebook description of the incident. “I felt the car rock back and forth like it was going to roll over. I then slid down the window and asked if she could open the driver side door and she said yes. I could see she was almost waist deep in water. I can’t remember what the temperature was but last time I had looked it was 6. It might have warmed up some by then. I thought to myself we don’t have much time or a choice. I told her to put one foot against the door and try and stand up. I put my arm around her waist. My adrenaline must have been running at full force because I have no idea how I did this but with one arm I picked her clear up onto the hood of the SUV and I told her to lay flat on the windshield and with one hand I pushed her all the way to the roof. I told her to slowly lower herself into the ice. She did and as soon as she put her weight on the ice she fell clear through shoulder deep. I jumped straight off the roof of the car into the water and got my arms around her legs and lifted her back onto the ice and it broke again. I picked her up again and lifted her onto the ice and it broke again.”

“After about the fourth time she said she was done and couldn’t go anymore,” Bluck said. “I yelled that was not an option. I knew if I didn’t get her out I wouldn’t get out. After about the sixth time she slipped up on the ice and started crawling across the ice.”

He waited for her to get about 10 yards before he tried to get out.

“I knew if I tried (right away) I would break the ice and knock her back in,” Bluck said. “I could feel my arms and legs quit working, but I kept pushing and going as fast as I could. It seemed like forever, but I finally got out of the water. Her husband had her by then. I was gasping for air the whole time and thought I was having a heart attack. I couldn’t catch my breath.”

He had enough strength left though to drive them back to the warmth of his house.

“I felt no fear the whole time I was doing it,” Bluck said. “When I sat down and realized what I did, I got pretty emotional at home. I felt pretty weird for a whole day, but I’m fine now.”

However, he is still seriously surprised by his actions.

“I am deathly afraid of falling through the ice,” Bluck said. “I don’t know where my strength came from. I’ve thought about that a lot. I think it was a test of all tests. Something happened. I just got really calm and at peace with everything and went. All my nerves and everything went away when I was walking on the ice.”

His neighbor, Michelle Allen, said it took her a while to feel normal again too, but is doing ok.

“The experience really puts things in perspective about what’s important and not to stress over small things and enjoy your family to the fullest every day,” Bluck said. “God must have been watching over us because so many things could have gone wrong.”

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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