Mom, daughter thank their rescuers in Fishers

Carrie Mattingly and her daughter, Ava, thank one of their rescuers.
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A mother and her five-year-old daughter got the chance to publicly thank the heroes who saved them from an icy pond in December.

Only car parts and a fence damaged along 116th Street near Hoosier Road in Fishers. But the losses could have been enormous. Instead, there was a priceless reunion as Carrie Mattingly and her daughter, Ava, met the rescuers who helped save their lives.

"It's all about somebody looking out for us," said Carrie. "Thank you so much."

Two days after Christmas, their SUV slid on a slick 166th Street, barreled through a fence and plunged into a pond.

Rhonda Curry saw it happen.

"If I wouldn't have seen them go through the fence, no one would have known they were there. She would have already sunk," Curry said.

Rhonda flagged down other drivers who got into the water and helped guide Carrie and Ava to safety.

"Everybody was putting themselves at risk for someone they didn't know," said a Fishers Fire Department official as the town council gave out Hero Awards Tuesday night.

And Ava gave her own award - a card with a picture of her and her mom getting a helping hand from a stranger.

"I have a three-year-old daughter myself and seeing this - it really hits home," said rescuer Randy Jones.

Carrie told the rescuers Ava "was able to celebrate her sixth birthday - and lose a front tooth - thanks to you."

"I have a daughter, it's very emotional. I don't know what the feeling is to describe it. But it's pretty emotional and satisfying," said rescuer Jeff Oliver.

"It turned out not bad. We definitely had guardian angels looking out for us that day," said rescuer Chad Basie.

"We are so grateful. They are just the kind of people who step in and take care of people they don't even know. Grateful is an understatement. Grateful to pieces. There is not a word big enough when you want to thank someone for saving your life and your little girl," Carrie Mattingly said.

The four rescuers and the two they saved, once strangers, are now friends.

"Words just seem so...there's not a word big enough when you want to thank someone for saving your life," Mattingly said. "These guys deserve this and more. We get to continue our lives with our wonderful family and people who love us. Thanks to these guys, we have many more tomorrows."

Her little girl said it all in one picture and two words - "Thank you."