Albert A. Larsen saved Helen M. Foster, helped to save William J. Gorman, and died attempting to save the Robert T. Rogers family from drowning, Emporia, Kansas, August 30, 2003. During extremely heavy rain at night, Ms. Foster, 79; Gorman, 45; the Robert T. Rogers family, and other motorists became stranded in their vehicles as they entered a portion of the interstate highway flooded by the rising waters of Jacob Creek. Larsen, 31, technical specialist, was another of the stranded motorists, whose vehicles were taking on water. He abandoned his vehicle and approached Ms. Foster’s disabled car. Larsen pulled Ms. Foster through the window of the driver’s door and carried her to safety across the highway’s concrete medial barrier, where the lanes of opposing traffic were not then significantly affected by flooding. Rather than remain in safety there, Larsen and another motorist who was offering assistance returned to the flooded area, where they approached Gorman’s car in the steadily rising water. They aided Gorman through the driver’s door, then took him to safety across the barrier, where he sought refuge in another vehicle. Again Larsen returned toward the flooded area, where he was last seen aiding Rogers, 37, and his family, who were stranded in their van. The buildup of floodwaters against the barrier caused its collapse and washed seven vehicles, including the van, from the roadway. Larsen and Rogers’s wife and four young children drowned. Gorman and Rogers sustained scrapes, and they recovered. Ms. Foster was not injured.
77152 – 882277152-8822