Good Samaritans and first responders rescue children from Mississippi River

Published 6:55 am Monday, July 1, 2024

Swift action from both civilians and first responders saved three juveniles from the Mississippi River Sunday afternoon.

Natchez police officer Kajlil Jenkins reported that the emergency unfolded when seven-year-old Lakeithius “Eli” Brashears slipped on wet pavement near Silver Street in Natchez and fell into the river around 5:30 p.m. His 8-year-old brother, Lakeivion, and 16-year-old sister, Jaila Tobias, jumped in after him in an attempt to rescue him.

Officer Jenkins saw people in the water and immediately called for assistance on his radio. Witness Doug Pruett, in town from Montgomery, Alabama, celebrating his 25th anniversary, noticed the commotion and, along with another man, managed to pull the two younger children to safety. However, Tobias was swept away by the current.

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Natchez Fire Chief Robert Arrington stated that first responders spotted civilians Jackson Moody and Taylor Little with a boat at a nearby restaurant, Fat Mama’s Tamales. They enlisted their help, and the two men quickly launched their boat and rescued Tobias, who had been in the water for 20 to 25 minutes. Tobias was conscious but unwell after ingesting a significant amount of river water and was taken to Merit Health hospital.

Arrington praised the quick actions of the civilians, noting their vital role in the rescue. “The teenager was too far out, and I knew good and well I couldn’t swim that good,” added Pruett. Authorities confirmed that all three juveniles are expected to make a full recovery.