Personal Lives

Chicago Law Prof Rescued Pilot of Downed Plane from Lake Michigan

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A pilot whose small plane crashed into Lake Michigan last week as he was transporting a patient to the Mayo Clinic for treatment is alive thanks to a clinical law professor from the University of Chicago.

Randall Schmidt, 56, and his wife Kristin Berg, 55, were aboard their 42-foot cabin cruiser Friday morning when they heard about the crash over the radio. It was around 10:15 a.m., according to the Detroit Free Press, and they headed for the crash site, some 5 to 8 miles offshore of Ludington, Mich.

Around noon, Berg spotted a man in the water and threw a life ring to him. The couple pulled the man, who turned out to be pilot Jerry Freed, 66, onto the boat’s swim platform. Schmidt then called the U.S. Coast Guard and provided his location and other searchers soon joined them.

Freed is in good condition, but at last report no other survivor of the crash had been found.

“I don’t feel like a hero, but I did save a life,” Schmidt, who heads the clinical law program at the U of C, tells the newspaper. “It was the right thing to do.”

Hat tip: Above the Law.

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