The man who saved four people from drowning in the Delaware River recently claims not to be a hero – despite doing the heroic thing and saving a mother and 3 children from drowning. Darnell Taylor of Florence Township this past Tuesday noticed a van half submerged in the river, and sprung into action. Unfazed were a couple of cars that whizzed by going in the opposite direction and one that honked as he stopped to assess the situation. That’s when he sprung into action – first calling out to see if anyone needed help, then swimming out to the submerged vehicle only to hear panicked screams and the face of a horrified child. According to this from the Trentonian:

. . . the girl was on a cell phone of her own calling for help. Taylor then realized the van did not have a pop-out window, as some minivans do. So, he told the young girl to kick the window.

“I told her to keep kicking,” Taylor said. “I could see the window loosening up, and finally she broke through. I didn’t know there was anyone else inside the vehicle until we got the window open. Then I saw the two brothers. And once I got the daughter out, she said their mom was still in the van as well.”

Taylor then rescued each of them one at a time. And after the Taylors were satisfied that the situation was under control, they drove away. The next morning, Taylor visited his 70-year-old father who had been battling cancer for years. Taylor told his father what happened, and the elderly man expressed how proud he was of his son. And his father died about 20 minutes after Taylor left his father’s side Wednesday morning. The last time Taylor saw him, his father had a smile on his face. For her part in the near tragedy, Joann Smith, the mother of the three children was charged with 3 counts each of attempted murder and child endangerment. Reports state she’d been battling mental illness for a number of years. A son who gave his dad a dying gift – the knowledge that he raised a son to be a hero – albeit a reluctant one! Darnell Taylor – Today’s Ray’s Ray of Hope!

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