LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Adam Thomas was fearless. He was the no-nonsense person at St. Xavier’s High School, who loved exploring the outdoors and getting his hands dirty on the family farm.
He had no talent for class, but he had the wit to make things right. He was the person to contact if your car broke down and the owner of a landscaping company with all the machines possible.
And although he seemed tough at first glance, his generosity ran deep – especially when it came to his 5-year-old daughter, who was “his whole world”.
So when Griffin Thomas learned his brother had died while trying to save a woman who had jumped into the Ohio River last week, he was shocked but not entirely surprised.
“In a million years, you could never expect something like this to happen to you,” Griffin Thomas said Tuesday. “But then you step back and look at this, and if anyone would have done this, it would be Adam. He thought he was invincible.”
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Adam, 34 ans, de Louisville, et la femme qu’il a tenté de sauver sont présumés s’être noyés peu après midi jeudi, a rapporté la police.
Aucun des corps des victimes n’a été retrouvé dans le courant rapide et la femme n’a pas été identifiée. La police poursuit ses recherches avec des unités aériennes et fluviales.
Le major des pompiers de Louisville, Bobby Cooper, a précédemment déclaré que des officiers avaient été appelés au centre-ville en réponse à une femme qui, selon des témoins, marchait nue dans la sixième rue et agissait de manière erratique.
La femme a sauté dans la rivière près du quai historique, où plusieurs passants ont tenté de l’aider.
Zach Berry, a lawyer who witnessed the tragedy, told the Courier Journal that he and his colleague David Lambertus ran to the river after seeing the woman through the window.
There they saw Adam Thomas get out of his car and tell them he thought he could reach her.
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“David looked him in the eye and said, ‘Are you a really good swimmer?’ And he said he was,” Berry said.
Betsy Thomas, Adam’s mother, said it was a scene that had happened before.
His son and a friend of his once saved a woman from drowning in a quarry.
Recently, Adam pulled over on the Gene Snyder Highway to help a woman with a flat tire.
“I think people might think it’s a random act of kindness, but that’s exactly what Adam did,” Betsy Thomas said. “It was not a random act.”
Betsy Thomas and her sons, Griffin and Andrew, said they still accept Adam’s death, but they take comfort knowing he tried to help someone.
“He died a hero,” said Andrew Thomas. “Anyone trying to save someone else’s life, what a heroic thing to do. But it’s devastating at the same time.”
The family held a memorial for Adam at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Big Four Bridge, 1101 River Road.
Everyone is welcome, said Betsy Thomas.
No funeral service is planned.
Krista Johnson and Andy Wolfson contributed to this report.