Judith E. Koonce, 23, teacher, died attempting to save Kyrleen K. Ruhl, 11, from drowning, Clifton, Ohio, July 17, 1958. While she and five other girls were following Miss Koonce on a trail along the edge of a gorge above the Little Miami River, Kyrleen, who could not swim, fell from the path and plunged into the river 38 feet below, where the water was 14 feet deep. Miss Koonce, who was a counselor at the camp where the girls were vacationing, quickly removed her boots and by holding to vines and bushes lowered herself 14 feet to a vertical drop of the gorge wall. She then jumped feet first into the river. After surfacing and calling to the other girls to get help, Miss Koonce swam 20 feet to Kyrleen and began towing her toward the side of the river. Thereafter the structure of the gorge obscured the actions of Miss Koonce and Kyrleen, but two loud gasps were heard. Firemen soon arrived but saw neither Miss Koonce nor Kyrleen at the surface. Nine hours later searchers located the body of Kyrleen, who had sustained a fractured shoulder. The body of Miss Koonce was recovered three days later.
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