William J. McNeese, 35, plumber, died attempting to save C. Irvin Widener, 16, laborer, from drowning, Johnson City, Tennessee, September 12, 1936. While wading in South Fork of Holston River, Widener got into water eight feet deep. He was momentarily submerged and then threshed as he slowly drifted farther from wadable water. A boy, who was a good swimmer, swam to him and pushed him briefly. McNeese, who was clothed but wore no shoes, ran through the water toward them. Meanwhile Widener grasped the boy, and both were momentarily submerged; and the boy tried to free himself. Near the wadable limit McNeese made a shallow dive and then swam 10 feet in deep water to Widener and took hold of his shoulder with both hands. The boy then became free and went to the bank. While McNeese held Widener, Widener threshed and then threw his arms around McNeese’s neck. Retaining his hold with one hand, McNeese struck Widener on the head with his other hand; but Widener did not release him. Both sank and were drowned.
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