TAYLORS FALLS, Minn. – The search for a man missing and presumed drowned in the St. Croix River will resume Tuesday morning. Toufue Vang, 21, of Coon Rapids, was swept away on Sunday when he tried to rescue his nephew, who had fallen into the river while fishing.
Calvin Yang, 11, of Braham, was fishing for the first time in the river at Taylors Falls when one misstep sent him into the raging water. The river is higher and faster than in many years and the current proved too much for the heroic uncle.
"He was trying to swim towards me, but the current kept pushing me farther away from him," said Calvin. "I thought I was going to die. And I couldn't breathe."
Fortunately, another man described by all as a "Good Samaritan" leapt into action. Reportedly, he jumped from as high as 30 feet off of the rocks on shore, plunging into the river and pulling Calvin to safety. The search for Calvin's uncle lasted until after 5 p.m. Monday and will continue.
"We'll have boats on the river," said Rick Duncan, Chisago County Sheriff. "Probably not going to drag. Just going to have boats sculling up and down the river. We pretty much dragged the whole area where we think that they could be so..We are just hoping that eventually the body will float to the top and then we will be able to find him then."
For Calvin, it has been two days of anxiety and a feeling of undeserved guilt.
"I feel sad because he jumped in after me to try to save me," said Calvin.
The boy's Aunt Patty tried to comfort him. "He told me he feels like he is at fault, but really, I was like, you know, if your uncle was here, he would not, he would never say that you were at fault. You just do what every kid does."
Now, on this day when we honor military heroes, Calvin will have another kind of hero to honor.