Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Haunting Memories of One Man's Ultimate Sacrifice in the Los Angeles River
In 1980, 10-year-old James Ventrillo was riding his bike close to the L.A. River in Atwater Village. The river was filled with fast-moving water following heavy rains -- and James somehow fell in. Atwater Village resident Earl Higgins, who had been walking nearby with his fiancee, Nancy Rigg, raced down to rescue young James.
With the rapids traveling 30 miles per hour or faster, Earl did somehow save James -- but was then swept away. His body was found several months later.
KPCC's Madeleine Brand met with both Ventrillo, now 40, and Rigg for this radio piece. Both James and Nancy are still haunted over what happened that day -- and the fact that Earl should have lived. KPCC has posted the first part of the Madeleine Brand piece; hopefully they'll post the entire segment soon.
(Hat tip to the Atwater Village Newbie for pointing us to the story.)