Derrick Kyle attempted to help save Lois F. Fair from drowning, Hewitt, Texas, May 14, 2006. Fair, 57, remained in the driver’s seat of her van after it partially entered a flooded drainage ditch during heavy rain. Water surged from the five-foot-deep ditch into a submerged culvert that extended 70 feet underground. Seeing the accident, Derrick, 16, high school student, and a coworker ran to the ditch from the nearby store where they were part-time employees. Holding to the driver’s side of the van, they urged Fair to exit the vehicle, but then it turned somewhat and moved fully into the ditch and toward the culvert, taking Derrick and his coworker with it. Submerging, Derrick was drawn into the culvert then was washed through it; he emerged to safety at its other end. The van pinned the coworker by a hand to the mouth of the culvert, and he remained there partially submerged until he was freed by arriving firefighters. Uninjured, Fair was aided from the vehicle through the window of its driver’s door. Derrick required hospital treatment for abrasions to his legs and an injured shoulder. He recovered in a week.
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