HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — An Horry County police officer who helped save a family from their car in floodwater received a special honor Tuesday night and was reunited with the family for the first time since the rescue.
“Without Officer [Adam] Tack coming to save us when he did, I don’t know how it would have turned out,” said James Cannon, who was rescued after his car was submerged.
Cannon said he was driving with his sons Landon, Liam, and Levi, just before 9 p.m. Sept. 17 during heavy rain from the remnants of Hurricane Sally. They went around a corner on Cates Bay Highway — a back road in a flood-prone area west of Conway.
“The water on the road, it was so dark, so by the time I saw it, I was already there,” James Cannon said. “I slammed on the brakes, but at that point, it was in the water.”
The car went front-first under about eight feet of floodwater. James and Landon got out first, but the younger two — Liam and Levi — were still stuck inside.
“They were already screaming and Levi wasn’t talkin, so I was like ‘my brother is dead, oh my god!'” Landon Cannon said.
“I was holding him up, but he was trying not to talk because he was scared,” Liam Cannon said.
That’s when Tuck arrived. He said he was reminded of his own son and jumped in.
“First thing I head was there were kids trapped,” Tack said. “At that point, it’s just blackout and you got to do what you got to do.”
“I just remember him with a baton, two times was all it took,” James Cannon said. “First time, he hit it hard and the next time it bust the glass.”
Officer Tack pulled Liam and Levi through the window. With the help of two Horry County firefighters, all four Cannons were rescued.
The Coastal Carolina Shields honored him as the 2020 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Tuesday, and for the first time since that night, the Cannons reunited with Tack.
“I was just screaming out, I was like, ‘please god,'” said James Cannon, as he sobbed. “He sent someone to save us and that was you. I can never thank you enough.”
“I couldn’t imagine being in that situation, so it was good to be a part of that, see that they can grow up together and be whole,” Tack said.
The Cannons also said they were able to thank the firefighters who were on the scene that night, but they’re glad they were finally able to show their appreciation for Tack.