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Utah rookie deputy dies rescuing woman from freezing water

Deputy Emaloni Takitoa Lutui, 20, helped the woman out of the water before he sank beneath the ice; he had become a deputy just weeks before the incident

By Joanna Putman

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — A rookie deputy with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office has died while rescuing a woman who fell into a freezing reservoir, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Deputy Emaloni Takitoa Lutui, 20, had just completed training and became a deputy weeks before the incident occurred, according to the report.

Both Lutui and the woman fell through ice into the reservoir on Jan. 29. Lutui helped the woman out of the water before sinking beneath the ice. He did not resurface, according to the report.

“We are heartbroken with the loss of Deputy Lutui,” Sheriff Rosie Rivera said in a statement Wednesday. “He displayed extraordinary courage and selflessness in the face of immediate danger. His unwavering commitment to the well-being of others is a true testament of his character. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.”

Lutui graduated from the sheriff’s office academy on Jan. 11.