The Tri-Rivers Board of Education and the Tri-Rivers Leadership Team recognized
Board Member Keith Rogers and his wife, Donna, for their role in rescuing a young girl
at the Board meeting Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022
Sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time. It could be by chance. It could be by luck. Or in the case of Keith and Donna Rogers, it could be to save a life.
It had been a busy day for both Keith and Donna. Keith was tired from working at a Soap Box Derby all day. Still they opted to picnic at the Mt. Gilead State Park. As it was approaching dusk, they decided to drive through the River Cliff Cemetery to look at the recent storm damage.
It was a decision that made all the difference in a little girl’s rescue. They pulled in an entrance that they normally wouldn’t have. As they were slowly driving through the cemetery, Donna heard a young girl’s voice yelling, “Help, help.”
They stopped the car and got out. They couldn’t see her but heard her voice at the bottom of a cliff. She said, “I’m lost, I want my mommy.”
They told her to stay put and kept gently talking to her to calm her down while they called 911. Officer George Hinkle Jr. arrived to assist within minutes.
Keith and Donna Rogers at the
River Cliff Cemetery in Mt. Gilead
Both Keith and Donna called Officer Hinkle a hero, but the truth is, it was their chance trip to the cemetery and their 911 call that made all the difference.
The officer climbed down the cliff, slipping and sliding to find the little girl sitting on a tree limb near the Whetsone Creek.
By then it was getting dark. The officer gave her a flashlight and told her to lean forward as she climbed back out of the ravine.
Donna said they just hugged and hugged her. They were so happy she was safe. Luckily, the young girl knew her mom’s cell phone number. They called it and then texted her as well. They assured the Mom that her little girl was okay. However, she was quite a distance from where she lives.
The details on how she wandered off aren’t as important as the happy ending that was facilitated by Keith and Donna. The little girl was safe and sound, no cuts or bruises.
Both Keith and Donna believe the officer should receive a commendation. All of us at Tri-Rivers, believe Keith and Donna are the true heroes. They were the little girl’s guardian angels that night.
Perhaps it is Donna’s background as an EMT for 31 years and 911 Coordinator and Keith’s background as a volunteer firefighter that propelled them to promptly assist.
But we believe they both have servant hearts and always selflessly look out for others.