“Thank You For Saving My Life”

Stranger rescues 9-year-old girl from raging water

When 9-year-old Brittany Williams got trapped in a raging creek in Richland Hills Friday afternoon, she had just one thought: "I'm going to die."

Brittany and her 7-year-old brother Hayden were on their way home from school when Hayden’s lunchbox fell into the water.
"Brittany was trying to save it,” Hayden said. “Then she slipped off.”
The current swept her toward an underground storm drain, which goes on for seven blocks.
"I was trying to say, ‘Hayden, help me! Help me!’” Brittany said. “I felt like I was stuck in ice.”
Hayden watched helplessly and screamed for help.
"I was saying, 'My sister is drowning!’” he said.
Neighbor Richard Harper happened to be driving by.
"Somebody had to do something,” he said. "There's a little girl, freezing to death, shaking like a leaf. I did what anybody would probably do.”
He jumped in to try to save her. But soon, he was trapped too.
"It was quite intense, I must say,” he said.
A neighbor grabbed an extension cord and threw it to them, but it didn’t work.
Minutes later, firefighters arrived and rescued them both.
"If it weren't for his heroic efforts, there's no telling what would have happened," Richland Hills Fire Chief David Anderson said.
Brittany and Hayden’s mother said she is forever grateful for Harper’s bravery.
"It hasn't hit me that she almost died today," Kristi Williams said.
Asked what she had to say to Harper, she said, "Thank you so much for taking the time to stop and help my kids get out of that water and risking your own life. Thank you."
"I think he was very kind!" Hayden said.
"Thank you for saving my life,” Brittany said.
"I like to think if anybody else was there they would have done the same thing. I'm just glad I was there to help her," Harper said.

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