Fort Campbell Soldier Saves Autistic Teen From Drowning

Posted at 6:25 PM, Aug 18, 2017

Recalling the events that happened still bring Martie Weeks to tears. Her family was tubing down the Red River in Clarksville on Sunday when she and her autistic son, Ronnie Harris, became separated.

"The current had taken me about 20 feet from him," Weeks said. 

It had rained the day before and the water was a bit higher than normal. The current wedged Ronnie under a tree.

"I was just holding on to the tree branch," said Ronnie. 

"He was struggling for a little bit and then he stopped struggling, there was no more struggle, and I'm screaming for him stand up," recalled Martie. 

Martie's screams could be heard up the river where U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Timothy Hansen and his family were enjoying the day.

"My mother, she's the one that heard it, and I turned over and I could see her face shriek. I was like, 'What's going on?' She said, 'Go save that baby,'" Hansen said. 

With that, Hansen was in a sprint down the river. He grabbed Ronnie and spent several minutes getting him to shore; however, for a moment, Ronnie wasn't breathing.

"To be helpless and watch your child, you don't know what's going to happen next. You don't know if tomorrow you're planning a funeral. You just don't know," Martie said in tears. 

Ronnie did come to and knew exactly who to thank for saving his life.

"He walked up to me after hugging his mother, he was like, 'You saved my life, I love you, you want to be friends?' I couldn't do nothing but smile," Hansen said. 

Martie has considered Hansen a hero, a term he isn't the fondest of.

"Being a hero, that's a very hard title to earn. I feel like I was just in the right place, and I was able to help out a bad situation," said Hansen. 

"There's no words, there's no action that I could ever do to show that gratitude," said Martie. She's working with local officials to publicly recognize Hansen's heroic actions.