LOUISA COUNTY, Va. – A Mineral man and his son with special needs have been identified after being pulled from Lake Anna Sunday afternoon.
Officials say 21-year-old Ryan David Murray drowned after falling off the dock on Jerdone Island. His father, 54-year-old David Michael Murray, is in critical condition after jumping in the water in an attempt to rescue him.
Deputies say at approximately 12:30 p.m. they responded to a call that a special needs subject was in the water and his father that was in the water looking for him.
A Good Samaritan who lives in the area tried desperately to save the son.
Tom Bowman says he met the father and son while on a dock on Lake Anna. After chatting for a bit, the Vietnam veteran learned David and Ryan recently moved in the neighborhood.
He never imagined that a half hour later, a tragic twist of fate, when he heard frantic screaming.
“Then I could hear the father. ‘My son’s in the water and he’s drowning. Help!’” Bowman recalled.
“He couldn’t… I don’t think he could swim. He was flailing in the water. Several times I had to grab him by the shirt,” Bowman explained.
The veteran raced to his phone to call 911 then went back to help the dad, who was clinging to the side of the dock. That’s when he spotted the son in the water.
His own physical limitations kept him from diving in, but he pointed the dad in the son’s direction and he was able to grab the son closer, while Tom tried to help pull him out of the water.
“Being my age, he was too heavy. All I could was hold him, the son. Keep his face out of the water. Kept him afloat waiting for help to arrive,” said Bowman.
When emergency crews arrived, an out of breath Bowman stepped away to regain his composure.
Rescue arrived to find an out of breath Bowman holding Ryan Murray out of the water. They were able to pull the son out of the water and begin doing CPR.
Another devastating blow came when he went back to check on the dad who had been clinging to the dock, only to find out he was missing.
A rescue crew scurried to rescue him from the water.
The crew discovered the father floating under the water and began CPR. David Murray was brought to the Bumpass Airport, where he was then transported to VCU, where he is listed in critical condition.
It’s a tragedy that Bowman is replaying in his head. His heart breaks for the dad; and he’s hoping that his neighbor will pull through.
“I’ll always wish I could have done more,” said Tom.
The body of Ryan Murray has been transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond to determine his cause of death.
Detectives are still trying to figure out how the boy fell into the water.