Victims who drowned in SD rescue attempt identified

1:52 PM, Mar 15, 2013   |    comments
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SIOUX FALLS, SD - Police in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, are identifying two people who drowned while attempting to rescue a young boy from a river at Falls Park.

Six-year-old Garrett M. Wallace of Vermilion fell into the Falls around 6:00 p.m., Thursday. That's when the boy's 16-year-old sister Madison went in after him along with a bystander Lyle Eagletail, 28, of Sioux Falls.

While Garrett somehow made it to the shore his sister and Eagletail were sucked under the churning water. Their bodies have not been recovered. 

Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue (SFFR) Chief Jim Sideras told television station KSFY that the next step is to allow specialized crews trained in swift water and cold water diving to search the area. They will also bring in more equipment to break up and remove the ice. It has been a challenge, they say, with the cold weather, ice and foam making it a difficult search.

As of Friday morning, the search runs from the Overlook Café bridge to about 300-500 feet down the river near Falls Park Drive. Sideras says Wallace and Eagletail went into the river near Overlook Café area and are believed to be somewhere between the bridge and dam.

"Brave and noble thing for these people to not think of their own safety. It makes the operation more dangerous, more complex. If someone falls in, stay on the shore, make continued contact with that person, so crews can have a better handle on saving someone. We don't have that very often," Chief Sideras said.


With information from


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