Teens Named Heroes For Saving Teen From Drowning

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-13 19:57:48-04

Three Montgomery County teens have been hailed as heroes after they saved another teen from drowning in the Cumberland River.

It was supposed to be just another summer day with friends for Joshua Williams, 19. 

The recent high school graduate is plans to attend Tennessee State University in the fall to study computer software, but one day in late June nearly ended all of it.

"They thought I'd died," Joshua explained. 

Joshua and his friend planned to wade into the Cumberland River, neither could swim well if at all.
However, the mossy rocks caused Joshua to slip and he fell in. His 6'4" frame was quickly swallowed by the river.

"All I could see was a white light and then it went black and that's the only memory I had," he explained. 

His friend desperately screamed for help. Fortunately, his cries in that rural part of the county were heard by three teens swimming about a hundred feet away.

"When I heard his friend yelling help, I saw somebody come up and then go back down and then he didn't come back up so I knew something was wrong," Zack Gibbons said. 

Preston Gibbons, Dylan Williams and Zack, ages 16 and 15-year-old didn't hesitate to jump in and swim to his rescue.

"I dove down once and couldn't find him. I went again and I felt his shorts so I just picked him up," said Zack. 

The three pulled Joshua's limp body from the river. "His lips were really blue. He wasn't breathing," Preston said. 

Zack checked for a pulse while Dylan called 911. Joshua's friend administered CPR while Dylan was on the phone with dispatchers who called out instructions. 

Joshua regained consciousness while in the ambulance. "I could hear the noise, the sirens and I was like this must be a dream because this isn't happening," he said. 

At the hospital, doctors worked to save his life. "I hate to call people angels but the doctors, nurses, they were just going fast. I know nothing about medicine, but they looked so efficient," Margie Williams, Joshua's grandmother said. 

However, if it hadn't been for three friends hanging out at their usual swimming hole, Joshua wouldn't be here today.

"The whole ordeal was like a nightmare to me. It really still is," Margie said. 

"I'm just glad that they were there at the right time," said Joshua.

Joshua was in the hospital for six days. Earlier this week he joined Montgomery County emergency officials in honoring the heroic actions of the three teens who saved his life.