Allen Lee Heck died helping to save a girl from drowning, Kelso, Washington, July 17, 2009. A 9-year-old girl was wading in the Cowlitz River off a sandbar near the bank when she stepped into deeper water. She shouted for help. Heck, 20, was in another party nearby. He immediately entered the deeper water and swam to the girl. Grasping her, he held her above the surface of the water but then called for help himself. After a woman attempted to swim out to them but returned because of the swift current, a teenage girl swam to Heck, took the girl from him, and returned her uninjured to safety. Heck submerged and drowned, rescuers recovering him from the river the next day.
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