A group of four boys ranging in age from 8-17 was hanging out by a canal behind their California home looking for fish earlier this week. Then they saw something a little bigger in the fast-moving water. They thought it was a doll.
Instead it was a 3-year-old girl, Alice Falk. She'd somehow managed to wander away from her home and fall into the canal. She had floated for about a half mile while her family was frantically searching for her. According to the Visalia Times-Delta, she was unconscious and not breathing when they jumped in to save her.
Hogan, 17, Victor Vasquez Jr., 12, George Castillo, 13, and Robert Vasquez, 8, were able to get her out, but she wasn't in good shape. Gilbert told the Fresno Bee: "She was unconscious. She was pale and purple. I thought, 'This girl is going to die.' "
Then they ran to get help from one of their fathers, Victor Vasquez. He was able to give her CPR. “It was just instinct,” he told the paper. “At that moment, I forgot everything. I was in shock. I have never experienced anything like that.”
But it worked. The girl responded, and shortly thereafter an ambulance arrived. She's expected to make a full recovery. It's an amazing story of luck, heroic action by these boys, and ultimately a happy ending. It could have just as easily ended in tragedy.
Sadly, however, some in the town weren't content with that, instead they went and attacked the mother of the girl for letting her girl wander away. Farmersville Police Chief Mario Krstic said they were trying to get "maybe a little street justice," which is so very wrong.
Police say it was just an unfortunate accident, and people should leave it at that. I'm sure this mother is punishing herself more than anyone else ever could.
As for the boys, the town may officially recognize them as heroes. In any case, they certainly have a wonderful topic for those "What I did on my summer vacation" pieces when they return to school.
What's the best thing your children have done this summer?
Image via ABC30