Toddler and baby among those rescued from river


A 3-year-old girl and a 10-month-old baby were among those rescued Friday evening from the East Fork White River near Rockford, police report.

Lt. Adam Nicholson with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department said the child was with her father and his girlfriend on the dam when she lost her balance and fell into the water at about 7 p.m.

Tristin Collins, 19, of Greensburg, who was holding her baby, ran to the water’s edge and tried to help the girl but also fell in with the baby.

Travis Charles, 27, of Seymour, the father of the 3-year-old, fell trying to help rescue the three.

None were wearing life jackets, police said.

Collins held onto the children while they floated downstream about 100 yards, police said. Once they found a shallow area, the adults were able to stand up and hold the children.

“They were in less than a foot of water at that point,” said county Officer Brad Barker, who responded to the scene.

He said areas near the banks can sometimes be between 10 and 12 feet, but the center of the river has shallow spots like the ones they found.

Barker said it was unclear how everyone wound up the river, but it appears the adults may have slipped on some moss that was on the riverbank.

He said they were all pulled from the water at 8:12 p.m.

The four were taken to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour for observation, but Barker said there were no injuries.

“All of them went under the water but didn’t sound like there was any fluid in their lungs,” he said. “They were really lucky.”

A man who was fishing nearby also jumped in to help and was later rescued. He declined treatment and left the scene on his own, Barker said.

Barker, county Officer Zach Elliott and Reserve Officer Aaron Wilkens responded to the scene. A boat from a local conservation officer was not in the area and could not be used.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department brought a boat to the scene and was able to make the rescue. Barker said there was difficulty getting the boat into the water because the rescue site was south of the dam.

Sheriff Rick Meyer, Chief Deputy Dustin Steward, Indiana State Police, Seymour Police Department, Jackson County Emergency Medical Services and Redding Township Volunteer Fire Department assisted at the scene.

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