What Would You Do? [AUDIO]
Would you? Could You? If you had to?
Anyone who watched the news unfold Thursday, March 14th here in Sioux Falls must have been asking themselves those questions. Would you? Could You? If you had to?
Thursday evening we started to hear via Twitter, that a six year old had fallen into the foamy waters below the falls of the Big Sioux River that runs through the City of Sioux Falls. The boy was found. Two others were not.
Then details started to filter in. Another bystander talked of reaching out and trying to hold on until he no longer could, watching a man who was attempting to save the boy slip away into the icy foam.
For now let’s set aside the ‘why in the heck were people even that close to the water?’ For now let’s set aside questions like, ‘didn’t they know it was extremely dangerous?’
The age old question of ‘what would you do’ keeps coming to my mind. If you saw a child who appeared to have fallen into the frigid falls ‘what would you do.’
Time is ticking. The waters roaring. A panic stricken sister and a cousin of the six year old are there on the granite slabs that make up the falls and in a split second ‘commitment.’
I don’t think there is a parent alive in Sioux Falls let alone the United States, maybe the world who heard about the story and thought to themselves, I’m not sure I could have done that. How about you? Have you thought about it? What would you have done. Time is ticking.
By now you know that 2 people perished in the river that day. It’s not the first time it’s happened either. We saw this post on our Facebook from longtime listener David Twedt.
I can relate to how the families of the two rescuers are feeling. My mothers brother also drowned by the falls trying to rescue his friend who had fallen through the ice. He was only ten years old at the time but I know how this tragedy affected my grandparents. May the families find peace in the the fact that their loved ones were kind enough to give their lives so that another could live. We know they have earned their angel wings.
I don’t know what I would have done. I don’t ‘know’ if I could have jumped in. I’d like to think that some of my experience in the outdoors would have had me first make a mental note of where I saw them last. To maybe place a rock or something where I last spotted them. To then maybe starting looking for something to hold in, like a branch to reach out for. To reach for a cell phone and call 911 ‘first.’ To cry out for help demanding that any responder ‘go get help, now!
A song came to my mind while I was writing this. I included it in a story that I wrote ‘wondering the same thing,’ for Amanda Connor. I think it tells the story of what a lot of people would have done. It tells what Lyle Eagletail and Madison Wallace ‘did do.’
A fund has been set up for Madison Wallace, the Vermillion teenager who lost her life saving her little brother in the Big Sioux River in Falls Park.