Spencer Findlay’s swift actions Sunday may have saved a child’s life.
Findlay is the good Samaritan who rescued 5-year-old Eli Brassfield after he and the stroller he was in rolled down a steep bank and into Lake Sacajawea. The boy’s mom, Elizabeth Brassfield, 29, was getting ice cream with Eli and her two daughters when it happened.
Sunday’s scenario unraveled quickly: Findlay, 20, had been relaxing at the lake with his Longview girlfriend — whom he was visiting from Seattle — when he heard a little girl yell about 50 yards away (likely one of Eli’s sisters). He looked up and saw a stroller rolling downhill.
“I saw there was a kid in it. I threw my phone on the ground and sprinted after it,” he said by phone Tuesday. “The kid (Eli) went face-first into the water. I got there right after he went in the water.”
When he got to the lake, Findlay said Eli was splashing around and struggling to get on his feet. He looked terrified, he said. Findlay said he doesn’t know what might have happened had he not been there.
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“I’m just glad I was there at the right place at the right time,” Findlay said.
Findlay said Brassfield was very happy, though a little alarmed. In her panic, Brassfield forgot to ask Findlay’s name. However, the pair connected over Facebook after a mutual friend introduced them.
He said Brassfield was “very thankful” for his quick actions.
The only thing Findlay couldn’t save Sunday: Eli’s frozen treat, which he’d been eating right before he plunged into the lake. However, Findlay said the ice cream vendor took care of it.
“He gave him another ice cream,” Findlay said.