HCPD officer awarded ‘Law Enforcement Officer of the Year’ for rescuing family from sinking car

HCPD officer awarded “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” for rescuing family from sinking car

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Retired law enforcement officers from both Carolinas came together Tuesday night to honor a Horry County police officer’s bravery.

Coastal Carolina Shields presented Officer Adam Tack with its 10th Annual Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure despite overwhelming obstacles,” said Coastal Carolina Shields Former President Joe Luzzi. “Though he may tell us otherwise, I’m here to tell you that Adam is no ordinary person in the eyes of his peers and this organization.”

Horry County police officer Adam Tack started Sept. 17 the “ordinary” way, on patrol in Conway.

Remnants of Hurricane Sally made their way through the area and caused flash flooding for some parts of our area. And James Cannnon was unable to avoid that flooding along Cates Bay Highway and Bunyan Lane.

“By the time I saw it, I was already there,” said Cannon. “I slammed on the brakes, but I started hydroplaning and it pulled me to the side of the road.”

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Cannon, his wife and his eldest son were able to get out of the car before it started sinking, but his two youngest, Liam and Levi, were trapped inside. He tried breaking the glass with his keys but that didn’t work.

“I was screaming my head off thinking I was watching my kids drown right in front of me,” said Cannon.

That’s when Tack dove in the water with his baton in hand.

“First thing I heard was there were kids trapped,” said Tack. “At that point, it’s just blackout mode, you go do what you got to do. It’s not only my account, I know a lot of other officers that would have done the same thing.”

Tack pounded on the window twice, breaking it the second time, and pulled the two children from the car.

All five family members survived, and Tack only had minor injuries.

“We’re all eternally grateful, as the Tack family is, for his abilities and his presence,” said Coastal Carolina Shields President Eric Rice. “God bless you and thank you very much.”

Perhaps even more significant than the award was the chance for him to reconnect with the Cannon family, who he hasn’t seen since the rescue.

“It hits home when you see the emotion,” said Tack. “I couldn’t imagine being in that situation. It was good to be a part of that and seeing they can grow up together and be whole.”

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