Army Reserve veteran saves little girl from drowning in a lake, but tragically couldn't save himself
Brandyn Mitchell hoped to get married next year, complete college and eventually get a job as a firefighter. The little girl whose life he saved was his fiancée's daughter
An Army Reserve member from North Texas tragically died after saving a young child from drowning in a lake. Brandyn Mitchell was at Isle du Bois beach near the city of Denton when he saw a child in need of help on Saturday, May 19. The little girl whose life he saved was his fiancée's six-year-old daughter, Keira.
The 25-year-old veteran got into the water of Lake Ray Roberts and helped the child onto a flotation device. Unfortunately, he was unable to get on it himself, according to Dallas News. According to bystanders, the little girl managed to make it to shore. Police officers were called to the scene around 1:15 pm after people reported seeing a man go underwater.
The Lewisville Fire Department's dive team recovered his body from about six feet deep in the water at around 4:30 pm. Mitchell hailed originally from West Memphis, Arkansas. He was a father-of-two, according to his social media. On his Instagram profile, he wrote that he was a '#proudfather' and '#soldier'.
A childhood friend of Mitchell’s named Quitin Sparkmon tweeted his condolences as well.
His fiancée, Angelia Herrera, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Mitchell lived and died a hero. "He wanted to be a hero, not just once but every chance he could," she told the newspaper. "Shortly put, he was an amazing man and I am lucky to have known him."
In addition to Keira, he had a child with Herrera and two children from a previous relationship. Asia Platt, the mother of two of his children, mourned his loss on social media. “You went out a hero, saving the life of someone you cared about. That is the greatest gift one could receive,” she said.
Mitchell reportedly served in the Tennessee Army National Guard for six years after graduating from high school. According to his fiancée, he planned on completing college and eventually getting a job as a firefighter. His mother, Stacey Thompson, said she "can't understand" how Mitchell, who reportedly "could swim like a fish", had drowned, according to the Star-Telegram.
The 25-year-old was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and an avid lover of snakes, according to his social media posts. Herrera and Mitchell had reportedly just made plans to get married next year. The couple hoped to honeymoon in Europe. "He was an amazing father," she said. "He was loved and will be missed. No matter what, he was a hero."