Greenfield youth to be honored for saving sister from drowning

GREENFIELD — A recent outing for a Greene County family almost turned tragic, but the actions of the family’s quick-thinking 11-year-old son saved the day.

Marlee Plogger, 9, was swimming May 7 with her brother in a creek on family property when she began to have a seizure, according to a report from Greenfield Police Department. Witnesses said they saw Marlee begin to do circles while simultaneously going under the water.

Before anyone else could react, the report said, Will quickly jumped into the water, swam to his sister, grabbed her and brought her to dry land. Marlee eventually was taken by helicopter for further treatment at a regional hospital.

“My wife, Tara, called out that we were ready to eat supper and, when he saw my daughter didn’t respond, Will turned around, saw she was in trouble and luckily grabbed her as she was going under,” said Scott Plogger, the children’s father. “There was a group of kids, and they were just playing in the creek. We were getting ready to leave when it happened. Most were walking out of the water when it happened.

“It’s remarkable he was heads-up enough and paying attention to do the right thing at the right time. We are in awe over it. We are truly grateful he was able to do that. We are very proud of him. I tell Will all the time it could have had a different outcome.”

Marlee has fully recovered and is at home.

“She’s doing great,” Scott Plogger said. “She played in her first softball game of the year this week and is back to being her normal self.”

Will Plogger will receive the Two Rivers Crime Stoppers Life Saving award at 7 p.m. June 12 when the group meets at Knights of Columbus Hall, 1377 Fifth St., Carrollton. The meeting is open to the public.

“I am very proud of Will,” said Greenfield Police Chief John Goode, who recommended Will be honored by Crime Stoppers for his quick actions after recognizing Marlee was in danger.

“My words to Will would be: ‘Will, you were swift and heroic in your actions. I know that not just your family is proud, but everyone in the area is proud of you. The world could use more heroes like you. Great job, young man,'” Goode said. “The practice of recommending someone for an award like this are few, which is a good thing if you look at it in the way of emergency situations we do not want to happen. But when they do, we want a hero around.” Goode said.

The award is not handed out lightly.

“I do not believe there has been an award like this one from our area,” Good said. “I do know I recognized a young child for notifying his parents of smoke in the house at a city council meeting. His quick response (was to) notify an adult of an emergency issue.”

The Crime Stoppers group agreed with Goode that Will is deserving.

“Will is a courageous young man, brave and a hero,” the Crime Stoppers board said in a statement. “If not for him, the outcome may have not been a good one. He is the reason Marlee is still here, and she’s so lucky to have a big brother like him.”

The board also had words for Marlee.

“We’re so happy you are doing well, and we are blessed you’re still here to have many more creek days with Will,” the board said.

Two Rivers Crime Stoppers also acknowledged several agencies for their response to the distress call for Marlee, including Greenfield Fire Department, Greenfield Police Department, Greene County Ambulance personnel and Survival Flight 5.