Freddie D. Garrett, 25, radio and television repairman, saved Yolanda S. and Naomi Fuller from drowning, Clinchco, Virginia, April 15, 1961. When their station wagon went out of control and plunged into the McClure River, Mrs. Fuller, 30, and her daughter, Naomi, 6, neither of whom could swim, climbed into the rear compartment but could not open the window across the back. The front end began to sink as the swift current carried the automobile downstream, where it became caught on a submerged boulder 25 feet from the bank in water eight feet deep. Garrett was driving along the highway and saw the station wagon. Removing his shirt and shoes, he slid down the steep bank, entered the cold water, and swam 30 feet to the rear of the automobile. Only 18 inches of the roof then remained above the surface, and Mrs. Fuller and her daughter were almost submerged. Garrett stood on the bumper and opened the rear window. Holding to the automobile with one hand, he removed Yolanda and hoisted her onto the roof. He then removed Mrs. Fuller with some difficulty, almost toppling from the bumper with her. After aiding Mrs. Fuller onto the roof, Garrett also climbed onto it. Meanwhile others had been attracted. By the time a small boat was obtained, only 12 inches of the station wagon’s top remained above water. Mrs. Fuller, Yolanda, and Garrett were removed to the bank by means of the boat.
45682 – 451145682-4511