Siblings Hailed As Heroes For Saving Girl From Drowning

By: WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Six-year-old Crystal Canul knew something wasn't right with the little girl she saw from the balcony of her family's second-floor apartment just after 6pm Monday evening.

The two-year-old child was in the swimming pool of the Fairlawn Green apartments, SW 21st and Fairlawn, and, Crystal said, it looked like she was drowning.

Crystal and her 11-year-old brother, Josias, told their mother what they were seeing. Josias added they didn't see any adults around. Then, the siblings rushed toward the pool.

Crystal and Josias recalled the story for 13 News as Topeka Police officers watched, smiling. Crystal says she jumped in the pool, grabbed the girl and pulled her to the side, where a waiting Josias lifted her from the water. They then called police.

Topeka Police Sgt. Steve Roth says the emergency responders checked over the little girl, who was conscious and did not require any further medical treatment. Roth says the apartment complex had a video camera trained on the swimming pool area which captured the entire incident.

Roth says it appears the little girl was able to open the door of her apartment. On the video, he says, you see her open the gate to the pool, take off her shoes and make her way to the shallow end. He says the video shoes her step onto one step, then appear to fall into the water and begin struggling.

Roth says it is evident the little girl is fighting for her life until Crystal jumps in and pulls her to safety.

Roth called it an "enlightening experience" for him. He says, in his 20-plus years with the department, witnessing the heroics of a six-year-old girl made his career worth it.

Roth says it's estimated the two-year-old was in the water about three minutes. He says it appears the incident was a tragic accident. The girl was released to her parents.

As for their actions, Crystal and Josias simply said they are good swimmers and the girl needed help.


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