Bexar County deputy describes rescue of mother, child in high water

Deputy Jason Jarvis, good Samaritan save two lives

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – A Bexar County sheriff's deputy said he didn't hesitate Wednesday morning when he jumped into high water to rescue a mother and her child.

The woman was clinging to a tree with her 1-year-old daughter in her arms in the 7800 block of Cagnon Road when off-duty Deputy Jason Jarvis and a good Samaritan stepped in to help.

"There was no thinking about it. I just jumped in and I went," Jarvis said.

The 4-year BCSO veteran was driving to work when he heard radio traffic say a vehicle had entered a low-water crossing and was being swept away. Jarvis was less than a mile away when he heard the call and was first on scene.

Both Jarvis and a nearby plant nursery worker could hear the woman but couldn't see her at first. When they did, they realized she had an infant in her arms while she was clinging to a tree. It was then that Jarvis swam toward them.

"The water got really deep. At that point, it got scary. I want to say I think my life flashed before my eyes when I was swimming out to her," Jarvis said.

The deputy saved the child before going back for the mother. Jarvis said both were missing clothing as a result of the swift waters.

"When I got to her, (the child) was blue in the face, shaking uncontrollably. The only thing I could think about were my youngest kids," Jarvis said.

He's grateful the situation was a rescue and not a recovery.

BCSO is investigating what happened and whether the woman will face any charges. She told investigators that she was unfamiliar with the area. At this time, it is unknown if the vehicle she was driving in has been recovered.

The Sheriff's Office said the circumstances should remind drivers to "turn around, don't drown" when facing low-water crossings.