WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) — When the floods came, residents of Waverly found themselves trapped, surrounded by rising water that was consuming everything in a matter of minutes.
Saturday morning, a husband and wife, got trapped until a hero happened by. 71-year-old Doug Whitfield shot video standing through the sunroof of his pickup truck Saturday morning, as floodwater is lapping over the tailgate. His 71-year-old wife, Bonnie is beside him with their three little dogs.
According to Doug, the truck is a few moments from floating down stream. That’s when the Whitfield’s guardian angel arrives.
Doug Whitfield shows News 2 a picture he takes of Tyler Stanley, who is holding a rope on the edge of the railroad tracks, just above the current. Stanley’s mom is beside him.
Stanley told News 2 he had come upon the Whitfield’s by chance. He says he is rushing to check on his own daughter who is caught in the flood, but when he sees the trapped seniors, saving the Whitfield’s is his top priority.
Stanley pulls the couple to safety, rescued their dogs, and then allowed the couple to stay in his truck while he continued running down the tracks to find his daughter, who will be found safe.
Stanley’s mom is wearing sandals, and to help her run down the tracks, Bonnie Whitfield exchanges shoes with the woman.
A few days pass and Tyler Stanley returns to check on the Whitfield’s. When they are not home, he leaves Bonnie’s shoes in the mailbox.
On Tuesday, after getting the note and shoes, Mr. Whitfield calls the 32-year-old to say thank you, calling him a heroic man. Bonnie Whitfield says she loves Stanley, calling him her angel.
Mr. Whitfield is a property owner. He tells News 2 that he owns 12 properties, and all his properties were destroyed. Whitfield says he’s working to find homes for each of those displaced families and says he plans to buy Tyler Stanley a big dinner when this is all over as a way of saying thanks.