Grandfather in well describes rescue of grandson, himself - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Grandfather in well describes rescue of grandson, himself

Benny and Jesus (Source: KLTV) Benny and Jesus (Source: KLTV)
The Well (Source: KLTV) The Well (Source: KLTV)
The broken well covering (Source: KLTV) The broken well covering (Source: KLTV)

An East Texas grandfather and his grandson are safe after getting stuck in a well over the weekend.

The Van Fire Department says the incident happened Saturday morning on County Road 450 near Lindale and Van. What started as a grandfather trying to rescue his grandson quickly turned into a race against time, as the grandfather himself became stuck.

Jesus Salinas-Flores, 4, survived the fall. His grandfather Benny Salinas says he was worried for both of their lives.

"He is the one that I wanted to be saved, as far as me, if I could be saved, good, if not, then oh well," says Salinas.

For Salinas, what started out as a normal work day, mowing the lawn on a property he takes care of, turned frantic when he lost sight of his grandson who was playing near him.

"I turned off my weed eater and I started to scream because I couldn't see him," says Salinas. Salinas started yelling, “Where are you son, where are you?” and then heard a voice. “Right next to the well I heard him say 'I am here grandpa.'"

Young Salinas-Flores had fallen 30 to 40 feet down. The concrete covering on the well apparently gave way when he stood on top of it.

“He was holding on like this, with his two hands," says Salinas.

Salinas-Flores was holding on to pipes, in water deep at the bottom, and his grandfather had to quickly grab this rope.

"I put it like this and I went to the bottom," says Salinas.

Justin Sizemore comes in to the picture at this moment he is Salinas’ other grandson who was also there.

"I started pulling him up, when I grabbed my brother, I let go of the rope because I couldn't do both things," says Sizemore.

Salinas-Flores was safe, but his grandfather wasn't.

"I fell down again," says Salinas.

Salinas was trapped near the bottom and losing air fast.

"If God wanted to come and get me then that was okay. I had already come to terms with whatever were to happen," says Salinas.

That's when Joe Gonzales and his uncle next door to the well heard the calls for help.

"The rope was too long and he was at the bottom and he had to pull," says Gonzalez.

Together, they pulled an almost breathless Salinas out the well. Salinas was shaken and bruised, but was able to recover. It’s a happy ending to a freak accident that could have turned tragic.

The owner of the property is thankful everyone is safe and says he is working to quickly get the well covered back up. The Van Fire Department asks the public not to attempt self-rescues and allow trained personnel to handle incidents like these.

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