Man rescued along the James River near Rivercut Golf Course; arrested once back on land

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 3:19 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 25, 2023 at 3:00 PM CDT
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NEAR SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Firefighters rescued a man, Jeremy Weichert, who was swept away at a low-water crossing in southern Greene County on Friday.

Firefighters with the Battlefield Fire Protection District responded to Farm Roads 141 and 190 near the Rivercut Golf Course around 1 p.m. The James River spilled out of its banks because of the heavy rain.

First responders know the James River will jump its banks every year. They just don’t know when. That’s why they train. So, when the heavy rains come, they’re prepared for water rescues.

Fire Chief Scott Moore with the Battlefield Fire Protection district says it’s a collective effort

”We train together. We purchased similar equipment so that we’re familiar with how to get through,” said Chief Moore. “We do all of that in an effort to try and make it as cost-effective as possible and to get as quick as possible.”

Passersby Scott Davis says it floods right where they initiated the rescue every year.

”Every spring, every spring is this bad,” said Scott Davis, who works across the street from the flood. “That’s why we drive big tall four-wheel drive trucks. We just drive right through.”

Many others, like Davis, think they can drive right through the water. But they end up stranded like Weichert. The crews pulled him out of the water.

“Turn Around, Don’t Drown,” said Chief Moore. “With this individual, it worked out. We were able to get him out and get him out quickly, and everyone’s okay.”

But it turns out the rescue crew isn’t the only crew that showed up. As soon as the life jacket came off, the cuffs went on. Weichert was promptly arrested by Greene County Sheriff’s Office for at least one outstanding warrant.

But just because it’s the job of first responders to be prepared, that doesn’t mean you should test the waters.

“They risked their lives to get you out of a situation you did not need to be in, hands down,” said Davis.

To see the latest river gauge readings and the predicted crest of rivers and streams in our region, click here.

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