C. Robert Hobstetter died attempting to help save Clark E. and Nancy K. Knowles, and Ronald S. Knowles from drowning, Takoma Park, Maryland, August 10, 1969. Knowles, 32, draftsman, and an 18 year-old youth, who was carrying Clark, 3, and aiding Mrs. Knowles, 30, attempted to reach dry land from floodwater three and a half feet deep moving over a viaduct spanning a creek; but they were washed to the side of the viaduct and clung to a submerged railing there. Debris being carried down stream began to accumulate around them, and the current threatened to sweep them into the stream. Hobstetter, 33, film editor, and another volunteer fireman who had a rope tied to him started to wade to the Knowles family from one end of the viaduct. Leaving Clark with his father, the youth went to meet the men in water four feet deep. Ground at that end of the viaduct washed out, taking with it part of the pavement. The man with the rope was pulled from the water but died of internal injuries. Washed down stream, the youth obtained a hold on a tree and made his way thence to dry land; but Hobstetter drowned. Firemen working from the other end of the viaduct removed the Knowles family from the floodwater.
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