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The Lake News Online
  • Patrol honors icy night heroics

  • Jan. 1, 2014 will be a day that Ian and Richard Miller will never forget. That is the day that their instincts kicked in and they helped two complete strangers who claim that the Millers saved their lives.
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  • Jan. 1, 2014 will be a day that Ian and Richard Miller will never forget. That is the day that their instincts kicked in and they helped two complete strangers who claim that the Millers saved their lives.
    At approximately 11 p.m. on Jan. 1, the Missouri Highway Patrol investigated a single-vehicle crash on Bank Branch Creek on Route D. According to law enforcement, the driver lost control of the 1998 GMC Yukon on a snow-covered roadway. The vehicle then traveled off the right side of the road and struck a bridge railing before overturning, rolling down a steep embankment and coming to rest upright in icy water.
    At the time of the incident, the National Weather Service determined the outside temperature to be 17 degrees with snow and wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour.
    When the vehicle landed, water quickly began rising and flowing into the Yukon’s windows. The driver and juvenile inside the vehicle both sustained injuries during the crash, but managed to swim out a broken window. The driver later told authorities that he was unable to touch the bottom of the creek while swimming.
    Ian Miller was at his residence about a quarter mile away from the crash scene placing wood on a fire when he heard crashing and screaming. Ian yelled to his father, Richard Miller that he heard a crash and immediately ran out the door toward the scene.
    Ian climbed down the ice and snow covered embankment, where he observed the occupants swimming from the Yukon toward the shore. When he arrived on scene, Ian reached down and pulled the juvenile out of the water. He assisted the juvenile up the embankment, placed his coat over him and instructed him to curl up in a ball to preserve his body heat. Ian then went back down the embankment, pulled the driver out of the water and assisted him up the embankment. Both the juvenile and driver had sustained injuries to their faces and were bleeding.
    Richard grabbed sleeping bags and towels from his house and drove his truck following Ian’s footprints in the snow to the crash scene. Richard loaded the occupants up in the truck and took them back to his residence while Ian ran back to the home.
    The Millers got the occupants dried off, replaced their wet clothes with dry ones and called emergency personnel.
    Due to the weather conditions that night, emergency personnel had a slow response time. Once on the scene, emergency vehicles got stuck in the snow and a snow plow was called to the scene.  After the ambulance was able to get out of the snow, it transported the occupants to Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach.
    Months later, both Ian and Richard Miller were honored for their service that winter night. Trooper Kyle Schrage, who worked the accident, nominated the pair for Honorary Trooper awards.
    Page 2 of 2 - On Friday, April 18 at the Camden County Sheriff’s Department, Schrage and Lieutenant Darewin Clardy awarded both Millers with Honorary Trooper certificates.
    Clardy told the crowd of friends and family present that the Honorary Trooper Award is the highest honor that the Highway Patrol gives out to civilians.
    “Very proud moment for both of us,” Richard said at the ceremony.
    Ian added, “The reward itself comes from you knowing that you helped someone else out. It’s not about today even though this is great. I am glad to have this and am very proud. It’s just about the thrill of getting out there and getting to help someone else out.”

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