Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Save my brother first"

I've said many times before when I've posted about major events that they're really a jigsaw of many small, individual, personal stories.

A tragic example is one such individual story that's part of the jigsaw of the Queensland floods event. The story of a true hero, only thirteen years old, and passers-by who risked their own lives trying to save strangers.

Warren McErlean watched the water on a street gauge in Toowoomba rise twenty centimetres in ten seconds as the inland 'tsunami' hit the town.

He saw a car with a family in it, thirteen year old Jordon Rice, his ten year old brother Blake and mother Donna, with water up to the number plate.

Warren tried to get to the car but by the time he'd walked twenty metres towards it the water was over its bonnet.

He roped himself to a pole and again tried to reach the car but was washed away. Another passer-by, known only as Chris, pulled him out, tied himself to the pole and managed to get to the car.

He grabbed Jordan, but the boy insisted that he save his younger brother first. Blake was carried to safety.

Chris went back to the car where he grabbed Jordan's hand but the rope snapped, the car flipped over and Jordan and Donna were swept away.

Jordan Rice. Hero.
Photo: Sydney Morning Herald

Warren was interviewed on Radio 2UE, and you can listen to his account of what happened here.

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