MADISON, N.C. — A 20-year-old man who died Thursday after jumping into the Dan River to save two swimmers who were washed over a dam is being remembered as a hero by those who knew him.
Steven Sizemore, of Sandy Ridge, was swimming with a group of 6-8 people in the Dan River near Lindsay Bridge Road near Madison around 8 p.m.
Two people from the group — an 18-year-old and her 20-year-old boyfriend — were washed 40 feet over the dam after struggling to battle its current.
Sizemore jumped in the river attempted to push the struggling swimmers away from the hydraulics.
“They were caught in this and he went in and somehow was able to free them,” said Rusty Gray, chief of the Madison Rescue Squad.
All three were eventually washed 100 yards downstream. Sizemore helped the struggling swimmers to shore, but then himself went underwater.