William O. Carpenter saved Chris Howard from drowning, Fairmont, West Virginia, June 14, 2003. After a heavy rain, Chris, 7, and two other boys were caught up in the floodwaters of Scratchers Run Creek and swept downstream by the extremely swift current. Carpenter, 52, whose home was on the bank of the creek, and a neighbor were watching the floodwaters when they were alerted to Chris approaching. Carpenter immediately ran into the muddy floodwater and assumed a stance in thigh-deep water. When Chris reached him, he seized the boy by an arm and threw him to safety in shallower water. They left the creek. The two other boys were swept to points downstream; one was rescued by neighbors but the other drowned. Chris was taken to the hospital, where he was detained a day for treatment of hypothermia.
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