Duanesburg tragedy averted by heroic samaritans

Posted at: 06/20/2014 4:36 PM
Updated at: 06/21/2014 12:18 AM
By: WNYT Staff

Kenny Frederick is credited with breaking the windows on the car, and pulling Lomax to safety.
Kenny Frederick is credited with breaking the windows on the car, and pulling Lomax to safety.
Photo: WNYT

DUANESBURG— A 24-year old Delanson man has several good samaritans to thank for saving his life early Friday morning, and, strange as it seems, he might also have a tornado to thank as well.

As a tournament fisherman, Kenny Frederick has grown accustom to being around water. What he pulled from a murky roadside pond on Friday morning turned out to be a priceless catch.

"I noticed a car went in the pond and then a kid was screaming for help," Frederick said.

It was 5:20 a.m. and Frederick was following the same route as the victim, several minutes behind him, eastbound on Duanesburg Road.

Colin Lomax, 24, lost control of his car, veered through the Duanesburg Fire Department parking lot, damaged some shrubbery, dislodged a heavy granite monument, sliced a light pole in half, crashed through a chain link fence, and wound up in a pond.

"He was under water. we couldn't see anything," Frederick recalls.

Frederick, 53, and a younger man had been flagged down by a woman who witnessed the crash. Both men entered the cold, murky water immediately, mindful that they had little time to waste.

"The first instinct I thought of was to grab a hammer so I could break the window," Frederick stated.

Because he's a contractor, Frederick has his tools with him at all times, but even so, the rescue wasn't an easy one.

 "We couldn't find him," he says, "The car sunk right away. It just went up like this (holding his arm at a perpendicular angle to the ground). I reached in to feel the seat belt but he ain't in the seat belt."

Frederick says it took several minutes and three tries, with two trips to the surface for air, before they located Lomax.

He acknowledges that if he hadn't been there, Lomax wouldn't be alive, and he says the family called him on Friday to thank him for is heroics.

So why can the Lomax family thank a tornado for the fortuitous outcome?

As mentioned above, Kenny Frederick is a contractor, and after a tornado swept through Duanesburg last month, Kenny has had so many repairs to make, he's had to leave his house at 5:00 in the morning, which means, if that tornado hadn't touched down, Kenny wouldn't have been on the road with his hammer.

Colin Lomax, according o conversations Frederick has had with the family, is likely to be released from Ellis Hospital on Saturday.