George Lee Abbott died after saving Timothy Sampson from drowning, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, October 10, 1981. While swimming in the Colorado River, Timothy, 10, panicked and struggled with a companion. Abbott, 31, painter, entered the water and swam 25 feet to Timothy. A struggle ensued. After being submerged briefly, Abbott held Timothy out of the water, then was submerged again. Abbott’s wife took Timothy to safety. She then located her husband and took him to the bank, but he could not be revived. He died eight days later.
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