Women hailed as heroines for
BY SUSAN EMERY Times Correspondent Monday, June
VALPARAISO | Around 9 p.m. March 11, friends
Tristen Comegys and Meagan Arizpe were driving
from Chesterton to the Walmart in Portage.
Comegys, 20, of Chesterton, and Arizpe, 22, of
Valparaiso, said the route they were taking was
the long way to Walmart, a way they had never
They were traveling on County Road 1050 North
near County Road 163 West when Arizpe noticed
something at the side of the road.
"I thought I saw a person in a ditch," she said.
Turning the car around and driving back to the
scene, she and Comegys discovered an elderly
woman up to her neck in water in the ditch.
Without a second thought, Arizpe pulled the
woman out while Comegys called 911.
At the Porter County Sheriff's Department on
Monday, a beaming Sheriff David Lain presented
Comegys and Arizpe with lifesaving awards for
their quick-thinking rescue.
Lain said police officers usually say they want
to become officers in order to make a difference
in the community.
Comegys and Arizpe, Lain said, "personify the
essence of making a difference."
"It's so uplifting when we get to see examples
of what it means to be a first responder outside
our business," Lain said.
"These two young ladies were going about their
normal everyday lives when it appeared to them
that someone needed help. They just knew they
could not stand idly by."
Lain said the woman in the ditch, Eleanor Adams,
89, of Chesterton, would not have survived
without the women's actions.
"You saved a life," Lain said. "That's something
police officers work their entire careers to do.
I don't know what your future career plans are,
but you can always get an application up front."
Comegys said she recently transferred from Ball
State to Purdue University Calumet, where she
will study marketing communications.
Arizpe just graduated from the Illinois
Institute of Art in Chicago.
Accompanying them at the lifesaving awards
ceremony were family members including Comegys'
father, Tony, and Arizpe's mother, Liz.
Several grandparents also attended.
Both women seemed to take what they did in
"She (Adams) looked a little like my grandma,"
Arizpe said. "If my grandma was in the water, I
wouldn't want someone just to sit in their car
(and wait for police to come)."
"We don't really think we did anything," Comegys
said. "It's just what you're supposed to do."
Adams' son, Raymond Adams, thanked both women at
the ceremony and gave them each a monetary gift.
He said his mother is now in a nursing home and
"How many people would even have stopped?" he
said. "It really shows their character."