Searchers have been able to recover the body of the off-duty Detroit firefighter who sacrificed himself while trying to save three girls from drowning in the Detroit River.
As per the fire commissioner, Sergeant Sivad Johnson, 46, was out visiting Belle Isle with his 10-year-old daughter when he spotted three girls signalling for help. Without thinking twice, Johnson and another person leapt into the river, succeeding in rescuing one of the girls.
The other two girls were subsequently picked up by a nearby boat, but in the chaos that followed Johnson went missing.
As per reports, his daughter soon realized that her dad was not among the gathered crowd. A search was initiated, involving police and fire divers and sonar equipment.
Michigan state police tweeted to update people on Saturday, sadly confirming that Johnson’s body has been found.
As per the New York Times, the 46-year-old was a 26-year veteran of the Detroit Fire Department.
Deputy fire commissioner Dave Fornell said: “His friends, his colleagues, the people who worked for him said he was a mentor, he was a teacher. Many said he made their careers.”
Forell went on to say that no less than 10 fire companies were present to salute Jonhson when his body was brought to Detroit Receiving Hospital.
“I would say there was not a dry eye in the house,” he said. “I’ve never seen as many firefighters as emotional as this. He was almost bigger than life. He just moved a lot of people.”
After his tragic passing, a GoFundMe was set up to help support Johnson’s family during this difficult time.
“This was my friend, my BEST childhood friend. I pray for peace to his family and for God to keep his daughters covered,” Andre Greenwood wrote. “This man was and always has been a solid and upstanding guy. I know that God has a purpose and a plan beyond our understanding. Love you Sivad, Job well done Brother.”
Such a tragic loss of life. We’re sending our prayers and thoughts in the direction of Johnson’s family at this difficult time.
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