William J. Merringer saved Donald G. Thompson, and died attempting to save Ronald D. Thompson and Eric T. Ashton respectively, from drowning, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, June 23, 1969. Donald, 11, Ronald, 11, and Eric, 10, called for help from turbulent water below a dam in a creek. Merringer, 29, plasterer, ran to the creek, entered the deep water, and swam to Donald, who was nearest the bank. After towing Donald to safety, Merringer started toward Ronald and Eric, who were farther from the bank. He became caught in a reverse current and began spinning head over heels. Donald ran downstream to shallow water and waded to the opposite bank, where a pile of cement debris extended into the creek. Ronald and Eric managed to move to near the debris; and Donald aided them from the water. Merringer later was thrown free of the reverse current and, inert, floated into shallow water. Others removed him, but he could not be revived.
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