Friedlein honored with Lifesaving with Valor award

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Jeff Friedlein, right, was presented with the Governor's Lifesaving with Valor award at the Iowa State Fair. From left are Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Roxann Ryan, Iowa State Patrol Colonel Jeff Ritzman, Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. (Photo submitted)

  By Shelia Tomkins

A Guttenberg man received a Governor's Lifesaving with Valor Award for his actions at the scene of an accident in rural Clayton County in June 2017.

Jeff Friedlein was one of seven people recognized for lifesaving actions by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds in a ceremony held Aug. 9 at the Iowa State Fair. 

He was the only recipient of the "Lifesaving with Valor" award, presented to those who have risked their own life to save the life of another.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety provided the following description of the incident that led to his award.

"On June 12, 2017, Lillian Horstman was the front seat passenger in a vehicle traveling with two other occupants. They were westbound on Garber Road in Clayton County. The driver lost control of the vehicle and entered the south ditch.  The vehicle overturned in the cornfield, coming to rest on its top, and became engulfed in flames.  

"The rear passenger was ejected from the vehicle. The driver and Lillian remained inside the vehicle.  The driver was able to get out of the vehicle, but Lillian was trapped inside, unconscious, with serious injuries.  

"Clayton County Deputy Tim Englehardt attempted to extinguish the fire with fire extinguishers but was unsuccessful.  Guttenberg Officer Kari Hoyheim attempted to extinguish the fire around Lillian. 

"Jeffrey Friedlein overheard the fire page and saw the black smoke in the air. He quickly retrieved two large-capacity fire extinguishers from his dump truck and went to the crash scene. Jeffrey and Deputy Englehardt used the fire extinguishers to knock down the fire before fire personnel arrived and fully extinguished the flames. 

"Lillian was extricated from the vehicle. The driver was taken to a local hospital. Lillian and the other passenger were airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics with critical injuries.  Five days later, the other passenger passed away due to the injuries sustained.  

Lillian Horstman spent 2½ weeks in the hospital and a month at a rehabilitation facility. 

"Jeffrey Friedlein’s actions were selfless and courageous. He risked his own life and was instrumental in saving the life of Lillian Horstman."

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