Albert Eugene Brake died attempting to save W. Franklin Adkins from drowning, Richwood, West Virginia, May 18, 1957. While wading in shallow water in the Cranberry River, Franklin, 12, who was a very poor swimmer, moved just beyond a step-off in the river bottom and began to flounder. Although he could not swim, Albert, 15, schoolboy, immediately waded into the river and from wadable water at the edge of the step-off extended a hand toward Franklin, who seized it and pulled him into water six feet deep 12 feet from the bank. Both boys threw their arms around each other and, after being submerged briefly, floundered wildly. Another boy, who was a good swimmer, then swam to Albert and Franklin, both of whom seized the boy and struggled violently, causing all to be submerged. With difficulty the boy broke free, but Franklin again seized his arm and clung to him as they surfaced. Albert remained submerged. The boy again freed himself from Franklin and swam to the bank. Meanwhile the only adult at the scene, a man who was a poor swimmer, had obtained an eight-foot branch and had waded to the edge of the step-off. He extended the branch to Franklin, who grasped it and was drawn to wadable water. Franklin suffered no lasting ill effects. Because Albert still had not returned to the surface, additional help was summoned. Two youths who were good swimmers later located him on the bottom of the river near the opposite bank. He could not be revived.
44324 – 416744324-4167