State trooper plunges into icy Vermont pond to save 8-year-old girl

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CAMBRIDGE, Vt. — A Vermont state trooper plunged into a frigid pond and pulled out an 8-year-old girl who had fallen through the ice while playing with siblings. The child survived and fully recovered after a brief hospital stay.

The girl and her younger sister fell through the thin ice on the pond on private property in the town of Cambridge on Dec. 17, state police said in a news release Friday. The 80-year-old homeowner was able to pull the younger girl to shore but couldn’t reach the older girl, so called 911, officials said.

Trooper Michelle Archer was nearby and arrived less than five minutes later, police said. She pulled a rope and flotation device from her cruiser, ran to the pond and swam to the girl, according to body camera video released by state police. She swam back to shore with the girl, and a second trooper who arrived as she was bringing her out of the water carried the child to a waiting ambulance.

The girl was taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington for treatment of injuries that at first were thought to be life-threatening, police said. She has made a complete recovery and returned home.

Vermont State Police leadership have commended Troopers Archer and Keith Cote and the homeowner “for their selfless, heroic conduct, and all three have been recommended to receive the agency’s Lifesaving Award,” state police said.

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