Mother of girl swept into Lincoln Draw gives thanks, offers warning

Hays Post

It has been a week since Jaymiee Williams, 14, and her 10-year-old friend were swept into the drainage system at Lincoln and 19th by rapidly moving waters.

Jaymiee Williams

Jaymiee Williams

Stacy Williams, Jaymiee’s mother, said it is important for her to tell her daughter’s side of the story and —  first and foremost — thank first responders and Mike Leiker for calling 911. Leiker’s call launched the successful search-and-rescue mission.

“I cried when I read Mr. Leiker’s story on Hays Post,” Williams said.

Williams said she is thankful Leiker took the time to stop and call 911. She said her daughter is “devastated” so many people did not stop and help her after she self-rescued herself from the storm drain at 13th and Oak streets.

According to Williams, the rushing water stripped her 14-year-old of all her clothes except her bra and underwear.

“My daughter had to run seven blocks to our home, cars passing her and no one stopping to help,” Williams said.

At one point, Williams said Jaymiee ducked into a carport — and a man came out and said, “Get out of there.”

Williams, who does not live within sight of the Lincoln Draw, said she had no idea anything was happening until their daughter ran into their home, cuts and scrapes covering her body and shivering so hard she was unable to speak. Jaymiee ran straight to the bathroom and jumped into the shower to warm herself.

Williams said it was then police arrived to tell Williams and her husband their daughter was “missing.”

Williams said her daughter came of the bathroom — begging the officers to tell her that her friend was OK.

She was indeed safe, being rescued by firefighters at a tunnel on 11th Street.

Williams said the girls have certainly “learned their lesson” about not hanging out at Lincoln Draw again — whether there is water in it or not — and are telling their friends the same.

Williams said Jaymiee has also learned to call 911 first when she sees someone is in danger.

“At the time, she said all she could think about was getting to (her friend) and saving her.”

Williams was disappointed by the judgmental reaction of a portion of the community, noting she heard people “who do not know us” blaming the parents for not supervising their kids.

“You can talk to your kids over and over and tell them not to do something, but you can’t be with them 24/7,” Williams said.

She is hopeful, however, the incident will help others.

“Preach to your kids. (Tell them) to not go anywhere where the same incident can happen, because there are not too many people out there who would help,” Williams said.

Williams said Jaymiee  insisted on personally thanking Leiker and got the chance to do just that Monday afternoon with an “very emotional” phone call.

Williams said both girls are “in good condition” today and have an even stronger friendship and bond than they had before the incident.

  • jackson

    we all make mistakes. this one could have turned fatal real quick. its a learning experience for everybody. thank you responders for once again–a job well done!

  • guest1

    So glad they are safe. It is sad that no one stopped to help, but when driving from point A to point B, sometimes you don’t notice what pedestrians are up too. It’s too bad that man who saw her didn’t ask a question or two.
    We have definitely used this situation as a talking point with our kids.

    • guest1

      ….and let me just add, that seems like an unbelievably scary “ride” for her to go on. The fact that she could get herself out of it is awesome. Not to mention that she ended up in there because she put her friend first and her own safety second.

  • Reality

    Good on Stacy Williams for having the courage to share her story (as there will be the inevitable posters who have — and will — criticize her parenting) — that takes guts. And thanks to Mike Leiker for actually giving a crap enough about others and turning his car around to ensure they were OK.

    As for those drivers who looked the other way as a soaking teenager ran up the street in her underwear… Wow. You couldn’t be bothered to stop, or at the very least called 911 on your phone? Just wow.

  • Hays Citizen

    I am glad that these girls are okay. People should not criticize other people’s parenting. A 14 year old girl is not logically going to be under direct supervision at all times. I can only imagine how terrified the parents were. As a community, we need to remember that these children are part of our community and we should reach out and help anyone at any time. Good job to all those that cared and helped!