Sean Dusinberre kicked out the driver's-side window of his submerged Pontiac Grand Am on Tuesday, pushed 13-year-old Joshua out into the murky, frigid water and then followed him to the surface with 3-year-old Dylan on his back, authorities said.
Coughing up water, Joshua reached the bank of the 100-yard-wide backyard pond in rural western New York and ran screaming for help. When emergency crews arrived, they found Dylan floating in the water, performed CPR and rushed him to a hospital.
There was no sign of the boys' 37-year-old father, who had collapsed back into the water and drowned. Divers found his body in the silt about four hours later.
"He was a hero in saving his two sons," Ontario County's undersheriff, David Tillman, said Wednesday. "He certainly put the lives of his kids first."
Joshua was treated for minor injuries. His brother was in guarded condition at a hospital in Rochester, about 25 miles west of Manchester, where the accident occurred.
The twice-divorced Dusinberre, who also leaves behind a 9-year-old son, spent most of his free time with his children and had taken Joshua and Dylan to Buffalo to watch their beloved Buffalo Bills play the Cleveland Browns on Monday night, said Sean Dusinberre's mother, Denise.
Dusinberre was driving the children to Joshua's mother's house around midday Tuesday when the car swept over the top of a short steep hill, veered to the right, vaulted over newly planted rows of tiny pine trees and bolted down a snow-laden grassy slope into the manmade pond, authorities said.
"My dad was, like, 'Oh shoot, oh shoot, oh shoot,' and then we went into the pond," Joshua told WHEC-TV of Rochester. "He saved us by breaking the window. ... It was ice cold. The water kept getting into my mouth and I thought I was going down, but then I kept trying."
The car was traveling at around 50 mph on a road with a 55 mph speed limit, Tillman said. He said the vehicle's speed on the "slushy, snow-covered" road and its inadequate rear tires were contributing factors.
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