WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A man named Greg says he is haunted by the image of Amber Newman floating away on a vending machine Saturday morning during the flooding.
Greg, who did not wish to provide his last name to News 2, said he went into the Dollar General to help save those inside when he noticed flood waters rushing in nearby.
“When I got into Dollar General, the water was already up to my neck,” Greg said. “It was basically survival instincts and figuring out what to do.”
Greg said when he went into the store, he found Newman and another coworker in the back office. The coworker was able to escape through the front door before a vending machine fell and blocked the entrance.
“Me and Amber climbed up onto a vending machine in front of the doors that was blocked. And I was sitting there trying to do everything in my power to figure a way out,” Greg said.
But after being sucked out of a window into the flood waters, Greg said Newman slipped from him while they hung onto a pole together. Items coming out of the store were constantly hitting both of them as the current grew stronger.
“The fourth vending machine is what knocked Amber out of my grip. She climbed aboard the vending machine, and I had the cord wrapped around my hand until it snapped,” Greg said. “I watched Amber float away on the vending machine out of sight. And there wasn’t nothing I could do to stop it.”
Greg said he constantly wishes things could have happened differently, especially for Newman’s family after she was found dead.
“I still go to sleep, and I still picture that day. And even after the fact I still try to figure out what I could’ve done differently to have a better outcome,” Greg said.
Newman’s parents were not present on Thursday night as the community of Erin held a candlelight vigil. Erin, Newman’s hometown, talked extensively about her welcoming smile and vibrant personality.