Two Missing After Jumping Into River To Save Boy
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
March 15, 2013 3:42 AM
Just after six o’clock Thursday, emergency crews say a six-year-old boy fell in to the raging Big Sioux River just down stream of the falls.
“A relative of his jumped in after him and then a male jumped in after them. So, we had three people in the water,” said Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Chief Jim Sideras.
A friend of the man who jumped in rushed to their aid.
“By the time I got there he was already in there and they had him by the arm. They had the kid in his arm and he slipped and he fell. And then not too long after that the kid popped up a little bit to the right and climbed up the rocks by himself,” said Napolean Ducheneaux.
“I was with him and he's with family members and he's doing fine,” said Sideras about the 6 year old.
But, the two who jumped into save the boy are still in trouble.
“I was using my jacket to fan all the suds and stuff away but, you know, I heard him and the woman talking. He said something like, ‘you hold on to me, I'll hold on to you.’ and I kept telling them to come to my voice,” said Ducheneaux.
“We don't know what's under the water. There can be rebar. There can be a lot of different obstacles under the water that we have to deal with,” said Sideras.
That was the last time Napolean saw his friend.
“I'm just waiting for my homie to come back up,” said Ducheneaux.
Both people who went in to help the 6 year old are still unaccounted for.
Crews say a low head dam would stop most anything from traveling further down stream. So, rescue crews narrowed their search to an area just below the pedestrian bridge.
“Reports of the foam was 6-10 feet deep,” said Sideras.
That plus ice slowed their efforts.
“We're reaching out and moving water off the river. So, that we can get a boat onto the water,” said Sideras.
Two strangers, missing, keeping a boy safe from danger.