Kannapolis firefighters say the mud was like quicksand, around the ravine where a teen was trapped Wednesday night. Officials say 14 year-old Za’Quan Clyburn was stuck in the mud up to his torso as he fought to keep from going under.
Tracey Garcia, who lives nearby, called 911 after some of Za’Quan’s friends ran to her house begging for help.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God. Somebody’s got to get here and hurry up and help him, because it’s cold out here," Garcia said. "He’s in mud. He’s probably freezing. He’s probably panicking.”
“Pretty much the consensus from everybody that was on scene was, we’ve just never run into anything quite like that situation here," Battalion Chief Kirk Beard with the Kannapolis Fire Department said.
Beard says about 24 firefighters were on hand to help, and they didn’t have time to wait for more specialized equipment to arrive, so they used pallets from the construction site they were on, as well as boards and ladders from their fire trucks to push back against the mud.
“Most of the guys that were working on him (Za’Quan) have children, so it kind of puts that element into it as well, makes it a little more difficult," Beard said.
“If it wasn’t for them (the firefighters) coming and getting him out," Garcia asked, "what would’ve happened?”