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Heroes honored by county officials

May 17, 2012

Chelsey Fiebiger, left, and Cole Huber received awards commending their heroism from the Barnes County Commission and Barnes County Sheriff Randy McClaflin, right, for their actions on April 19. The couple saved two people from a sinking car in Hobart Lake after it had driven off of Interstate 94 west of Valley City.

Two Jamestown residents, Cole Huber and Chelsey Fiebiger, were honored by the Barnes County Commission and the Sheriff’s Office with the county’s award for heroism on Tuesday.

The couple were presented plaques by Barnes County Sheriff Randy McClaflin at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

On April 19, the two heroes saw a 1989 Chevrolet Celebrity go out of control on I-94 and drive into Hobart Lake west of Valley City on Interstate 94. Fiebiger, an Iraq War Veteran, 2006 graduate of Valley City High School and daughter of Barnes County Sheriff’s Deputy Don Fieberger, called 911 to report the accident and location while Huber, seeing that the vehicle was a station wagon, jumped into the water and swam to the vehicle thinking there might be children trapped inside.

The subjects in the car were able to roll the windows down and escape the vehicle as it submerged completely. Fiebiger then jumped into the water to help the male passenger, who was confused and swimming parallel to the shore, while Huber pulled the driver up from under the water. The driver panicked and pulled Huber under in the ensuing struggle. Fiebiger then assisted Huber in bringing the driver to safety.

Both occupants of the vehicle were brought to the couples car where the heater was turned on full blast until the ambulance arrived at the scene. The driver, David Paul Floyd Brown, of Jamestown, was charged for allegedly driving under the influence.

“They’re lucky these two came along,” McClafin said. “Obviously, without their assistance, there would have been a different outcome out there.”

Wondering out loud how cold the water in Hobart Lake must have been that night, Commissioner Cindy Schwehr said “You kids are amazing. When I heard about this, my stomach just sank and we’re just really proud of you in Barnes County... Thanks for being heroes.”

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