Roadside hero: 'Get this guy out, dead or alive'

Roadside hero: 'Get this guy out, dead or alive'

ALBANY, Ore. - Many people are calling Troy Elverfeld a hero.

"I've got some abrasions here, there," he said pointing to his arm. "This was swollen, it's a little sore."

On Tuesday, the ODOT employee was working on a stretch of Highway 20 at milepost 7 east of Albany, when a multi-car crash sent a truck and it's driver plunging into this pond.

"All I could think of is we've got to get this person out," he said.

Without even thinking, he said he leapt into action.

"I just jumped in with one boot on, one boot off and with this tool and swam over to the vehicle."

He said after a few tries, he finally broke the window of the truck.

"I just held my breath and went down and felt for him," he said. "I was just hoping that I'm going to be able to get, you know, get this guy out dead or alive."

After four attempts, he said he finally pulled 56-year old Dean Stilwell of Sweet Home to the surface.

"He was just real wide-eyed and breathing real hard. I thought I was not going to pull him out alive."

Stilwell went to the hospital, beat up - but alive.

He said after a few hours in the hospital, he was sent home Tuesday night. He is now recovering at home, and is thankful to be alive.

"I'm thankful for him helping me and being there," he said by phone Wednesday.
As for Elverfeld, he said he doesn't consider himself a hero, he just did what any good Samaritan would do.

"It's just a job that I did to get this person to safety, that's all."