John Gordon Blackwell died attempting to save Dale A. Trotter from drowning, Stratford, Ontario, December 8, 1962. When the toboggan which he was riding slid into the Avon River and sank in water over his head 20 feet from the bank, Dale, 7, was submerged briefly and then flailed wildly. Aware that Dale could not swim, John, 12, schoolboy, ran 15 feet to the riverbank, jumped into the icy water fully clothed, and swam 20 feet to him. John sought without success to take hold of Dale and was struck repeatedly by his flailing arms. As Dale continued struggling, John sank and did not reappear. Dale, alternately sinking and rising, drifted 30 feet and also disappeared beneath the surface. Others, including police and firemen, arrived. Dale and John were removed from the water but could not be revived.
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