Mom says son who died in river was 'biggest hero'

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm •  Published: March 17, 2013
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The mother of a man who died in an icy South Dakota river while trying to rescue a 6-year-old boy says her son made the ultimate sacrifice.

A search boat on Saturday discovered the body of 28-year-old Lyle Francis Eagletail in the Big Sioux River. Eagletail and 16-yer-old Madison Leigh Wallace died when they tried to save Madison's brother, Garrett Martin Wallace, who later emerged from the river uninjured.

Eagletail's mother, Margaret, was among about two dozen family members and friends who watched the recovery effort Saturday at Falls Park.

"I think of my son as the biggest hero. He sacrificed himself for that little child and that's the way his grandmother brought him up, with much love and respect," Margaret Eagletail told KSFY-TV.

The incident happened Thursday afternoon. Witness accounts differ on whether someone pushed the boy out of the water or he popped up on a rock before being pulled ashore, Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras has said.

The body of Madison Wallace, of Vermillion, was discovered Friday afternoon. Eagletail's body was discovered about 100 feet from her body in a part of the river that was about 12 feet deep, police said.

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