NORWALK - The family of a young boy who narrowly avoided drowning in the Norwalk River returned to the scene of the accident Tuesday to honor the man who lost his life trying to save the child.
Officials say the accident happened Monday afternoon near Route 7 in a section of the river known as "Deering Pond." Williams Carpio says he was fishing at the end of a small dirt road with his 10-year-old son, Davidson, and several friends when his son slipped on a rock and was quickly carried away by the strong current.
Carpio says he and three men, including 20-year-old Jose Higareda, jumped in to rescue the boy, but the raging current thwarted their efforts.
According to Carpio, he and his friends were in the water for about 30 minutes when fire officials arrived on the scene and used tether ropes to reach his son, who could be seen flailing about 200 feet off shore. When firefighters pulled the child out, they realized there was someone else still in the water. By the time rescuers reached Higareda, Carpio says he was completely submerged.
"Everyone did their best to save him, bystanders on scene and family friends, but the 20-year-old ultimately perished," says Norwalk Fire Chief Dennis McCarthy.
Witnesses tell News 12 Connecticut Higareda looked like a good swimmer, but they overheard that he may have suffered from a heart condition.