Man Dies Trying to Save Fiance's Drowning Child

News9.com

SULPHUR, Oklahoma -- A Shawnee man died while trying to save his fiance's daughter from drowning.

What started out as a fun, family gathering, quickly turned into tragedy. Jeanna Bennett said Monday will be a day she'll never forget.

Gregory Barker, 32, was trying to save Bennett's 8-year-old daughter who was having difficulties swimming in a stream near Veteran Lake Creek in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

"She bobbed a little bit. She got scared and panicked and he went to her and he saved her," Bennett said.

But just as Barker was helping his fiance's child, he experienced difficulty swimming.

"He kept pushing her up. He just kept pushing her up," Bennett said.

She said she watched paralyzed by the bank as Barker went under the water and never came back up. Bystanders pulled him from the water and began administering CPR. He was taken to a hospital where he died.

Bennett said she is grateful to her fiance for saving her daughter's life but is devastated to lose someone she deeply loved.

"Not every man would do what he did," Bennett said. "He's my hero. He always will be."

Bennett and Barker met about a year ago at Fire Lake Casino where they worked.

Barker was a security guard but was working towards becoming a police officer, so he could help people and help save lives.

Bennett's daughter was transported to the hospital but made a full recovery.

More information on Safe Kids Oklahoma's mission to prevent drownings in the state