James Wayne Watkins helped to save Cody Davis from drowning, Fairmont, West Virginia, June 14, 2003. After a heavy rain, Cody, 8, and two other boys were caught up in the floodwaters of Scratchers Run Creek and swept downstream by the extremely swift current. Watkins, 34, was traveling the road bordering the creek when he was alerted to the situation by a neighbor. Seeing Cody clinging by his legs to a tree on the opposite bank, Watkins ran to the muddy creek, then jumped into it from a point just upstream of Cody and let the current carry him to the boy. Grasping Cody with one arm and the tree with the other, Watkins kept Cody’s head above water. Another man descended the bank and pulled Cody and Watkins to safety, Watkins then reviving the boy. Cody, who suffered a bruise to his head, was taken to the hospital, where he was detained a day for treatment of hypothermia. Watkins sustained cuts and bruises. One of the other boys was rescued by another neighbor, but the third boy drowned.
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