MINERAL WELLS, W.Va. — A Mineral Wells teenager risked his life during Sunday’s flooding to save a woman stranded in her vehicle.
Brant Freeland, 15, of Elizabeth Pike, was being driven home from his girlfriend’s house by his mother on Sunday evening when they encountered high water near the intersections of Wood County 14/4, Butcher Bend Road and Wood County 42, Chesterville Road, with West Virginia 14, Elizabeth Pike, he said.
His mother stopped the vehicle at Hardman’s Supply Company due to high water, Freeland said. He spotted a car in the waters of the rising Slate Creek, he said.
“I looked at my mom and said ‘I’m going to go help,'” Freeland said.
Freeland waded through water that came to his thighs to check if someone was in the vehicle, he said.
“I got to the door and there was a woman inside (the car) yelling ‘help me, help me,'” Freeland said.
Connie Boggs, 69, of Elizabeth Pike, was coming home from visiting her brother in a Columbus, Ohio, hospital when she became trapped in the rising water, she said. “It just caught my car and took it over in the culvert. It started filling up with water and I couldn’t get out,” Boggs said.
Boggs said she had rolled down her window, was honking the horn and waving for help. Multiple people drove past without offering assistance, she said.
“Then this boy came to my door and opened it and said he would get me out,” Boggs said.
Freeland forced her car door open against the current and carried Boggs 120 yards through the rising water, back to the safety of Hardman’s Supply Company, he said.
He asked if she needed anything from her vehicle, to which Boggs replied her purse and phone were still inside. She asked him not to go after them, he said.
Freeland ran back to the car and found Boggs’s purse and phone. He opened her trunk and found a towel as well, he said.
Boggs was placed inside Freeland’s mother’s car to warm her up after her ordeal, she said.
“If it wasn’t for him (Freeland), I’d more than likely drowned,” Boggs said.
Freeland was frustrated at how other people were nearby but not helping, he said.
“I felt like I was the only person around,” Freeland said. “There were others who were close who knew she was in the car and they weren’t doing anything. If she had tried to get out by herself, the water would have knocked her down and she would have died.”
The last thing on his mind when Freeland went into the water was being a hero, he said.
“I was just worried about saving that lady’s life, that’s all,” he said.
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