Eagle Tail Laid To Rest
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
March 23, 2013 4:52 PM
A Sioux Falls man who died saving a little boy, who fell into the Big Sioux River last week, has been laid to rest. On Thursday, Mar. 14 28-year-old Lyle Eagle Tail jumped into the river after a 6-year-old boy fell into the water. Crews searched for Eagle Tail’s body for nearly 45 hours before recovering it Mar. 16.
On Saturday morning, friends and family of 28-year-old Lyle Francis Eagle Tail said goodbye.
"My son is the biggest hero. He sacrificed himself to that little child and that's the way his grandmother has brought him up, much love and respect,” said Eagle Tail’s mother, Margaret Eagle Tail.
Around 100 people gathered at Mother Butler Center in Rapid City to pay their respects to a man who gave his life to save another. On Mar. 14, Eagle Tail was at Falls Park with his friends when he saw 6-year-old Garrett Wallace fall into the Big Sioux River. Eagle Tail, along with the boy’s 16-year-old sister Madison Wallace jumped in to save him. The boy somehow survived, the same couldn’t be said for Madison and Eagle Tail.
“He's the only hero I knew and will probably be the only hero I know,” said a friend of Eagle Tail’s, Napolean Ducheanaeux.
Born and raised in Rapid City, Eagle Tail was a part of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. He moved to Sioux Falls recently and friends said the Thursday that he jumped into the water, was his first time ever at Falls Park.
"To that little boy and his family you know, my son is a hero to them. He sacrificed himself,” said Margaret Eagle Tail.
A selfless man, who family and friends said will be dearly missed.
Eagle Tail was buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Rapid City.
A memorial fund has been set up for Eagle Tail’s family at Wells Fargo under ‘The Lyle Eagle Tail Memorial Benefit Fund.’