Father of 3 dies after saving step-mother from drowning

Father of 3 dies after saving step-mother from drowning (Image 1)

A man lost his life in a lake after saving his step-mother from drowning.

Brian Dearing, who worked as the station manager for WDUC-FM in Tullahoma, was on a pontoon boat following a station promotion.

His wife and 3-year-old daughter were on board along with Brian's dad, Gary, and step-mother, Kimberly.

Kimberly told Nashville's News 2 she slid down a sliding board from the boat's second level.

When she came up from the water, the current had taken her some 20 yards from the boat.

“They were just there. The water had been still and I started to swim to it, but I couldn't because the waves were going just like this”, said Kimberly, waving her arms up and down.

Gary said he and Brian watched Kimberly struggle and in a few seconds, Brian had climbed to the top rail and dove off.

“He fought the waves and fought the wind and got to her and took her by the hand,” said Gary.

Kimberly managed to get on her back and swim back to the boat, but Brian disappeared.

“I knew Brian was already gone, and I started yelling for him and everybody just realized that, you know, it was too late. He was gone” Gary said, choking back tears. “I watched him, and he just kind of floated away.”

Kimberly said without Brian jumping into the water and swimming to her, she would have drowned.

“He saved my life. No doubt, he saved my life,” she said.

Gary, Brian's wife Natalie, and their three year old daughter were on the boat and searched the water for an hour before help arrived.

“To stand on that boat for that long just looking in the water I mean, helplessly. And you can't go anywhere, you just have to stay there, and look at Natalie, and that 3-year-old knowing their dad isn't coming back,” Gary recalled.

He told Nashville's News 2 that Brian's family and friends are planning a concert in Tullahoma to help raise money for Brian's wife and three children.

The concert is still in the planning stages and they're hoping to find a big-name artist or band that would help draw a crowd.

Accounts have been set up at area banks to help the family.

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