For his heroic efforts in saving the lives of three small children on Utah Lake June 25, a Utah County man has been presented a special award from the Utah Peace Officers Association.
Shane Wall, 23, Payson, a construction worker, told association officers he went to the lake after receiving strong feelings that he should go there." . . . I don't know why. I thought at first that I would catch a large fish. I was watching a boxing match on television, and I seldom leave the TV during a good fight, but I was compelled to drive to Utah Lake," association President Ben L. Lemmon quoted Wall, an avid fisherman, as saying.
Shortly after leaving his parked truck about 5:30 p.m. at Lincoln Beach on the lake's southwest shore, Wall observed four small children and an adult man wading some distance out in the water. High waves kicked up by strong winds carried the party away from the shore, Utah County Deputy Sheriff Mark Beals, later dispatched to the scene, said in an earlier Deseret News story.
The adult man and four children of the Annamarie Coleman family, Centerville, began calling for help as large waves created by the wind forced them further away from shore.
Wall, who had planned to meet his own family members at the lake about two hours later that evening but who changed his plans, immediately raced to the individuals calling for help. Struggling against high waves, Wall was finally able to reach Jennifer Coleman, 11, and brought her to safety.
Wall entered the water two more times to rescue the girl's two brothers, Jeremy, 13, and Joshua, 9.
"When he (Wall) turned around, he couldn't see the other two victims," Jason Coleman, 10, and Wilford O. Larsen, 41, Salt Lake City, who were drowned, Beals told the Deseret News.
Lemmon, who is a lieutenant in the University of Utah Police Department and who presented a plaque to Wall, said, "Our hearts go out to members of the Coleman and Larson families. We are truly saddened at the loss of their loved ones."
Accompanying Lemmon to the awards presentation at Wall's home were Gordon Kiesel, association president-elect who is chief of police of Salina, Sevier County, and association Vice President Harry Shinton, who is a sergeant with Tooele County sheriff's office.