James Edward Smith, Jr., died helping to save Nicole Conley and Jordan S. and Regan N. Hastings from drowning, Bon Wier, Texas, July 5, 2003. Nicole, 15, and sisters Jordan, 13, and Regan, 6, were on a swimming outing on the bank of the Sabine River. They were on inflatable rafts near the river’s midpoint when they experienced difficulty returning to the bank, and they called for help. Jordan’s and Regan’s mother responded, as did people from two other parties on the bank, including James, 15, high school student, and a 42-year-old man. They entered the water for the girls, James seen aiding Nicole toward the bank before submerging and the man seen aiding them at a raft before he submerged. James and the 42-year-old man drowned, and their bodies were recovered from the river two days later. The girls and those others who had entered the water for them safely reached the bank.
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