GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) — Gaffney firefighters rescued a teenager Saturday evening after he fell 40 feet into a well.
The Gaffney Fire Department said crews responded about 8 p.m. after getting a report that a person had fallen into a well off Pacolet Highway.
Jaylen Byers said he was playing with his brother when he fell into the well.
“I just fell,” said Byers. “While I fell, I just remembered being underwater.”
The 14-year-old told 7NEWS there was a piece of concrete on top of the well. He said when he stood on it, it crumbled and he fell right through.
“I was shocked. I was scared. I was like, ‘What’s going on? How did I just fall down here?’ I didn’t expect it to be a well. I tried my best to swim back up. I saw a pipe and was hanging on it the whole time.”
Byers’ younger brother rushed to tell their dad what happened. They called 911 and Gaffney City firefighters quickly arrived. When they found Byers, they said he was treading water. It is something Byers’ mom said she will never forget.
“I think that is a parent’s biggest fear – not being able to help their child when they need help,” said Amy Gordon. He said, ‘Momma, my arms and legs are getting tired. I’m scared. Please just hurry.’”
Less than 30 minutes after rescue crews arrived, firefighters pulled Byers out.
“They [firefighter] grabbed me,” said Byers. “I was holding onto him like it was a hug.”
Byers was airlifted to the hospital, where he stayed overnight. Other than some scrapes and bruises, he said he is doing okay.
“I’m a little sore, but I’m grateful to be here living another day.”
He said he is thankful for everyone who rescued and treated him.
“They helped me a lot. I’m grateful for that.”