It happens around 2:30 p.m. Sunday under the Cotton Lane Bridge next to Fieldstone Farms. Deputies tell News 2 that the mother and her young son and daughter were kayaking when they hit a piece of debris and the kayak flipped.
Body cam of the deputies who arrived showed them stopping on the bridge and spotting the family down river. A young girl made it to the shore, while her mother and her brother are clinging to a tree branch over the river.
You can hear one of the first responders shout from the bridge, “How’d you guys get down there?”
“Apparently this family as they were going down the river got hung up on a tree branch and turned the kayak over,” said Chief Deputy Mark Elrod.
Elrod says getting to the family was difficult. Body cam showed the men climbing barbed wire and jumping down steep, muddy banks.
It took a few minutes, but Deputy Torres reached the little girl on the shore. She was wet and muddy and in bare feet. She was not hurt, and the deputy assisted her back to the road where other rescue units were waiting to pull her to safety.
“And she is telling them her mother and brother are further down,” recalled Elrod.
Deputy Simoneaux and James Bourland went to the river’s edge, where they found the mother now standing on a branch hanging over the river. Her son was also with her, he was barefoot and frightened.
“We are going to get you, ok?” one of the first responders said to them.
After a few minutes of tying ropes to trees and assisting the mother and son up the slippery slope, the group got to a location where county fire lowered a ladder.
The group make the approximately 10-foot climb to safety.
“They did a wonderful job. All of our deputies are about helping the community. And helping people in time of need. These 2 guys got out there and did what they needed to do. They seen a problem, the risk the people were having, especially young people and they did their job,” said Elrod.
Elrod says all Williamson County road deputies receive water training and are equipped with personal floatation devices and throw bags that contain ropes.