Shining moments: Critical timing

The morning was cold, wet and miserable, and it was definitely not going as planned. Orrin Olsen of the Alpine 11th Ward, Alpine Utah Stake, had arranged an early-morning fishing trip for his father-in-law, Clarence Robison, and his nephew Hans Olsen, a student at BYU. "It was to be a good way to get out and be together," he said.

The trip was off to a rough start from the beginning. By Tuesday, Nov. 5, morning temperatures had dipped to 20 degrees, while a heavy snow storm fell in the mountains. Despite the storm, they were fishing by 6:15 a.m. on Wallsburg Creek near Deer Creek Reservoir in Provo Canyon, Utah.After fishing the same hole for nearly an hour, Orrin and Hans left Clarence and trudged upstream to try their luck at a different spot.

They began fishing a new hole, when suddenly, in the tranquility of the falling snow, a pickup truck came careening over the embankment about 50 feet away, twisting and flipping as it slid. "You could hear the truck crunch with each roll," said Hans, who attends the College 8th Ward, Orem Utah Student Stake.

Stunned, the two stared at each other, then bolted toward the truck that had landed upside down in about three feet of water.

"When I first got to the truck the door was jammed," Orrin said. "I panicked a little. I had a fear, what if we couldn't get him out?"

Tom Swan of the Timpanogos Park 5th Ward, Orem Utah North Stake, and father of four daughters, had spun out of control on icy roads above the river. Muddy water was filling the cab through the broken passenger side window.

Orrin, who at 6-3 and 260-pounds, was an All-American football player at BYU, grabbed for Tom, but was unable to pull the hefty 6-3, 290-pound construction worker through the window.

Hans, a 6-4, 285-pound redshirt defensive lineman on the BYU football team, worked his arms under Tom and pulled. At first, Tom didn't budge. But Hans continued pulling until Tom gradually squeezed through the window. He had been submerged about 45 seconds.

"The timing was critical," Orrin observed. "When you consider that if we had remained at the first fishing hole, we wouldn't have heard the crash. And if we had gone 50 more feet, we would have been in the path of the truck. We felt were supposed to be there."

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