In early April, five students from Spiro High School were kayaking at Spiro Lake and had an opportunity to make a life-saving decision.
The teens, Lily Darneal, Caitlin Woods, Alyssa Perry, Brooklyn Dotson and Gracie Darneal, were at the lake when they noticed a man on a boat on the lake. They later noticed that the boat hadn’t moved, and they couldn’t see the man. They decided to go out on the lake and see what had happened. They found the man in the water gasping for air.
The young ladies decided to intervene and called 9-1-1, providing support for the man until first responders arrived and took over the life-saving task.
June 16, 2020, State Representative Lundy Kiger Oklahoma Speaker of the House, Representative Charles McCall presented formal citations to the five students at a reception at the Donald W. Reynolds Center in Poteau. Representative Kiger said, “We normally would have presented these citations to these young ladies on the floor of the state Capitol, but because of the shortened session due to COVID-19, that wasn’t possible.”
The text of the citation reads:
“Hero & Angel”
Whereas, Gracie Darneal is an exemplary student at Spiro High School in Spiro, Oklahoma, where she participates in not only school events, sports and cheerleading; and
Whereas, during the day of April 7, 2020 Gracie Darneal while on the lake with her friends, saw someone in mortal danger and didn’t hesitate to help save his life despite putting her own at risk; and
Whereas, Gracie Darneal saw Mr. Lyons fall from his boat and start to struggle to surface, and immediately jumped in and swam after him while her friends followed quickly behind to provide much needed support; and
Whereas the five Spiro teens acted swiftly and in unison to ensure Mr. Lyons not only made it safely out of the water, but made sure first responders were aware of the situation and location to provide support, and also worked to secure Mr. Lyons boat for him; and
Whereas the life of Jimmy Lyons was spared due to Gracie Darneal and her friends’ swift reaction to a man in need; and
Whereas Gracie Darneal having chosen to be extraordinarily brave, to disregard her fear and to rush to the aid of someone in need, taking his life from the water to safety, is now hereby recognized this with the highest degree of respect and honor by all of the citizens of the great State of Oklahoma and by every member of her entire community.
Now, therefore, pursuant to the motion of
Representative Lundy Kiger & Senator Mark Allen
the Great State of Oklahoma extends to
sincere appreciation and directs that this citation be presented.
The citation is signed by both Representative Kiger and Senator Allen and bears the Seal of the House of Representatives.
The texts of the other teens’ citations are similar citing the different actions of each young lady.