James Howard Ward saved Charles L. Sugg from drowning, Clinton, Illinois, May 15, 1968. When water overflowing from a nearby reservoir surrounded her home, the mother of Charles, 9, left with him and two smaller children to seek higher ground. The walls of the reservoir gave way; and the surging water swept Charles away from his mother, who managed to reach safety with the other children. Carried into a street with confining sides which caused the debris-laden water to rise rapidly, Charles was swept by the swift current toward the end of the street, where there was a large drain. Ward, 23, machinist, was in one of the dwellings along the street. Noticing Charles, he ran to the edge of the street and jumped into the deep water. Ward found it exhausting to swim across the current and to avoid debris, some of it massive. He swam 20 feet and took hold of Charles in water nine feet deep. A large metal drum struck them, but they sustained no injuries. Separated from Charles, Ward quickly regained his hold on the boy. Both swallowed water as Ward moved Charles with difficulty a total of about 85 feet diagonally across the current to wadable water at the edge of the street.
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