Hero of 2009 Des Moines River Rescue Passes Away


2009 Des Moines River rescue by Jason Oglesbee. (WHO-HD)

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa man who received national attention for his bravery in saving a woman from the Des Moines River in 2009 has passed away.

The Des Moines Register reports Jason Oglesbee died Tuesday at Methodist Medical Center, after he had collapsed in Creston March 29th.

Oglesbee was working on the construction crew building the Women of Achievement Bridge over the Des Moines River  on June 30th, 2009 when he rescued Pattie Ralph-Neely from the rolling waters of the dam below it. Ralph-Neely and her husband Alan had been in a boat that went over the dam and Patti was trapped in the rolling current just below the dam. Alan didn’t survive the accident.

Oglesbee was able to save Patti by dangling at the end of chains from a crane used in the bridge construction and pulling her away from the dam, and into a waiting raft.

Coverage of the rescue was shared around the world and Oglesbee received several awards for his heroism.


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