Teen dies trying to rescue her brother from Big Sioux River
A teenage girl is dead after giving her own life trying to save her younger brother.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Sioux Falls, SD (KTNV) -- A teenage girl is dead after giving her own life trying to save her younger brother.
Another Good Samaritan is also missing, as the Big Sioux River is feared to have claimed two lives.
"It's sad news. We did find the young girl who went in after her brother," said Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras.
Divers recovered the body of Madison Wallace from the river. The 16-year-old had jumped in trying to rescue her little brother.
6-year-old Garrett Wallace had apparently fallen in the water. He survived unharmed, though it's unclear how.
A bystander, Lyle Eagletail, fell in the water trying to save the boy.
"There were three of us that had him and he had a kid, he had the kid with him, but he just slipped," said friend of Lyle, Napolean Ducheneaus.
That began a desperate effort to rescue the girl and the man, but the river held responders off.
They had to use back holes to smash through a crusting of ice; in some places a foot thick. Using fire hoses, they tried to part the thick foam, which is caused by chemicals in the water.
Finally, divers were able to plunge into the surging, near-freezing pool.
"The divers are going at near-zero visibility water, which means you can't see your face. It's all by feel, so it's a very slow process, there's a lot of debris in the water," said Sideras.
They were too late to rescue a loving sister who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The body of the man has still not been located.