He was one of three children who were fighting for their lives in the water by a bridge at New Light Road near Ghoston Road.
Lee Tucker, who was fishing near the bridge when the drowning happened, said he heard yelling and screaming. He and his friends were able to rescue two of the children.
"I heard some commotion, and I looked over there and saw little arms in the air," he said.
Tucker said he saw a little girl’s body floating in the water. He jumped in the water and rescued her while family members were screaming for yet another child.
Tucker grabbed the second girl – only for family members to indicate a third child was still in the water.
He and his friends weren’t able to locate the 8-year-old at the time.
Deputies arrived and pulled the boy from the water. He died at WakeMed.
Tucker, who said he’s shaken by what unfolded, gave an emotional description of the events.
"In my opinion, there would have been three drownings if we weren’t there. My God-honest opinion," he said.
Tucker said he hopes this situation encourages parents to put life jackets on their children.
The Wake County Sheriff's Office is investigating.
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