Teenage Girl's Body Recovered From Foam Filled Big Sioux River

Boy's teenage sister and a good Samaritan vanished in the icy river foam.

ByABC News
March 15, 2013, 3:38 AM

March 15, 2013— -- Rescuers have recovered the body of a teenage girl who jumped into a frigid, foam filled South Dakota river to save her little brother who had fallen in.

The girl, Madison Wallace, 16, was one of two people who vanished in the thick foam on the river as they tried to rescue her 6-year-old brother Garrett Wallace.

Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras said rescuers found Madison Wallace's body in water that was anywhere from 5 to 10 feet deep.

After rescuers removed her from the river, her family took the body to local hospital, he said.

A dive team is still searching the icy and foam covered waters for Lyle Eagletail, 28, a bystander who leaped into the water after the young boy and teenage girl.

Garrett Wallace fell into the Big Sioux River around 6 p.m. Thursday, Sideras said . His sister and Eagletail went after him in rescue attempts.

The boy was found alive sometime later, ABC News affiliate KSFY-TV reported. It's unclear how the boy escaped the turbulent river.

The force of the water had churned up a thick blanket of foam over the river and all three disappeared into the foam. The foam is six feet deep in areas.

"It's just such a hectic environment," Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Cpt. Nick Luther told ABCNews.com. "The water moves so fast. The temperature, the ice, the foam, there are so many obstacles."

Firefighters used blowers to try and reduce the amount of foam and a backhoe was brought in to break through the ice, KSFY reported. Once some of the ice was removed, the divers went into the water today.

"There's one area that [crews] are working around that is essentially 15 feet deep," Luther said.

Bystanders who witnessed the accident say they tried to help rescue the boy and the duo who jumped in to save him. One man was able to grab on to the unidentified man.

"We had him. There were three of us that had him and he had a kid with him, but he just slipped man, he just slipped," Napoleon Ducheneaus told KSFY.

"We happen to just be walking over the bridge and we noticed somebody was down there reaching in to the foam and we looked a little bit closer and we could see they were holding on to somebody, trying to pull him out," another bystander told KSFY.

"I feel hopeless. I wish there was something I could have done."

The boy "is doing just fine," and is with his mother, Luther said.

The 6-year-old suffered no injuries, but was taken to the hospital as a formality, he said.