Brave Red Onion Residents Save Two Lives

February 01, 2005 -- Posted at 10:45p.m. CST

RED ONION, MO -- Dunklin County officials arrived on the scene shortly before 3:00 Tuesday afternoon, and found 23-year old Derrick Van Horn, and Paragould resident, Tammy Maxwell, trying to stay alive in the frigid waters of the St. Francis River.

Van Horn, and his friend, 20 year old, James Dowell, were on the river when their boat's motor stopped, and then the boat capsized.

James Dowell made it to shore, and went to get help at a local convenient store.

Tammy Maxwell went with Dowell back down to the river to try and help Derrick Van Horn who was still in the water.

Maxwell tried to make it to Van Horn, but with the depth, frigid temperature, and rapid current combined, she became stranded in the middle of the river.

"She grabbed a water hose took it down there, and she jumped in there, and tied it to a tree. She tried to swim out to where Mr.Van Horn was. Then the current got her, and of course, the water was extremely cold. She was also picked up in the boat,"said Dunklin County Sheriff, Robert Holder.

Sheriff Holder says other than being cold, and little shaken up, the parties involved are okay.

He says the lesson learned is to make sure you are prepared with life jackets, and other life saving devices, whenever you are in the water.