Jackson County teen receives state award for saving a life

A Jackson County teen who jumped into Lost Creek Lake and pulled a drowning swimmer to shore in July was awarded with the Oregon State Sheriffs' Assocation Life Saving Award in Bend last week.

Dillon Huntley, 18, of Medford, was at Lost Creek Lake July 23 when he heard cries for help. A group of friends had attempted to swim across a nearby section of the lake, the OSSA reported. A member of the group was overwhelmed by the waves and wind about 25 yards from shore, became exhausted, and started to slip beneath the water. Other members of the group tried to assist, but were nearly pulled under the water by the panicked swimmer. Huntley jumped in the water, swam to the young man, and pulled him to shore.

Jackson County Sheriff's Department Capt. Arron Elder was also at the lake on her day off and called 911 for help when she heard about the ongoing rescue. The exhausted swimmer was flown to a Medford hospital for treatment.

"If not for Dillon Huntley's action, the young man more than likely would have drowned," a statement from association reads.

He received the award at the organization's annual conference, held Dec. 2 through 6 at the Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend.

— Ryan Pfeil

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