Athens firefighters rescue 12-year-old from creek

A 12-year-old girl was rescued from a creek in Athens on Sunday afternoon.

Posted: Apr. 14, 2019 5:42 PM
Updated: Apr. 15, 2019 6:43 PM

A 12-year-old girl was rescued from a creek in Athens on Sunday afternoon. 

Athens Fire and Rescue received a call at 11:45 a.m. that a girl fell into the creek. 

Firefighters say she was playing on the bank before falling in. The creek is located behind Elmwood Apartments on Elm Street. Battalion Chief Torrey Downs said the water was about five feet deep.

WAAY 31 talked with the family of the girl who was rescued.

“They went to the creek the day before, so they really didn’t think anything of it," Stephanie Tucker. "You know, we had the storms Saturday night, and it just wasn’t what they expected, I guess.”

Stephanie Tucker’s stepdaughter, Zoey, was at a friend's house over the weekend when the unexpected happened.

“She was standing next to the creek, on a rock, and the rock just fell into the water and she fell into the water with it," Tucker said.

Zoey drifted about 40 yards but, luckily, she was able to grab on to a limb before the current took her any farther.

“The only thing she could think of was that she was afraid she wasn’t ever going to get to go to school again," Tucker said.

Zoey’s friend immediately called 9-1-1 when she realized what was happening. The Athens Fire Department responded right away and created a human chain to pull Zoey out of the water.

With just some minor cuts and scratches, Zoey was back at school on Monday with a story to tell.

“She is very much a survivor. I told her that yesterday," Tucker said. "Not everybody would think to grab onto a limb like she did and hold on, so I was really proud of her for that.”

Tucker says she thinks her stepdaughter learned a lot from the scary experience.

“She’s kind of walking funny, but I think it was kind of an experience where she got a taste of she’s not immortal and she was very touched by that," Tucker said.

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