Rescuer Recounts Saving Fla. Girl in Flood

LAKE CITY, Fla (WTLV) -- Falling Creek in Columbia County, just north of Lake City, was a raging river during the torrential rains of Tropical Storm Debby.

The creek breached it's narrow, muddy banks and washed over the bridge and road that cross it.

It also managed to catch a 14-year-old girl in its current, and swept her into a clump of trees.

"She stepped in a hole and the current just took her," said neighbor Craig White.

White and his friend John jumped into a boat and did their best to steer to the girl.

"I told John the current is moving so fast, we're only going to have one pass at this," White said.

But one pass was all they needed. He says they got the girl on board and took her to the water's edge where EMS was waiting.

"She just got in the boat, took hold of John and collapsed," but White says she was ok.

Neighbors say the girl held onto the tree for at least an hour.

"There was no way should could have lasted much longer, she was exhausted," he said.

White says he's just a neighbor, not a trained water rescuer. But says when he heard about someone in trouble from his neighborhood, he had to act.

"Anybody in trouble like that, man, if I can help them I will. I don't care who it is," he said.

First Coast News

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