A search for a six-year-old autistic boy swept away by flood waters resumes Friday morning. Tristen Demumbran was declared missing Thursday after his mother lost hold of him while trying to pull him from a vehicle. The van became caught in flood waters when the driver attempted to drive through high water in Hickman County, Tennessee. The mother and four others were able to escape from the van after flood waters overcame it but according to the Times Free Press, Tristen’s mother lost consciousness when she was hit with debris while freeing the child. The autistic boy is now considered in grave danger.
Renee Swanson, the child’s aunt, said, “They thought it wasn’t as high as it was. They tried to go through to get something to eat.” She explained, “Everyone has been found safe except Tristen. We are still looking for Tristen.” The boy’s aunt added, “All we can do is wait and leave it in the Lord’s hands.”
Tristen was swept away at approximately 10:30 Thursday morning, WATE News reports. The search did not begin until nearly 1:30 Thursday afternoon because the mother lost her cell phone in the flood and was unable to call for help right immediately. Rescuers are holding out hope of finding the boy alive. The flooding in Hickman County is the result of strong thunderstorms that swept through Tennessee. The flooding in the state is also responsible for the death of a 72-year-old man whose vehicle was also swept away after he tried to cross a flooded roadway.
Pic courtesy of Hickman Co Sheriff’s Department flooding on Hwy 100- USE CAUTION! pic.twitter.com/Z735cgtsfc
— Erin Como (@ErinSteerClear) June 5, 2014
— WATE 6 News (@6News) June 6, 2014
Rescue crews called off the search Thursday night, but resumed searching the Beaver Creek Dam area near Centerville Friday morning. Sheriff Randal Ward informed the media that several agencies are involved in today’s search. “We are in a rescue mode right now,” Ward said, yesterday. “This creek is way out of its bank and it is mean. We are praying we find this little boy.”
Drowning is an extreme concern in any flood situation, but children with autism are especially at risk of drowning in general. Inquisitr reported this week about a 16-year-old autistic boy who drowned during his class field trip after he was found in the deep end of a pool. Most deaths of children with autism that occur from drowning are the result of the children wandering away from their homes. In this situation, hope is being held out because the boy did not wander and fall into a deep lake or pool as a result of his autism. The community is hopeful that he may be on the river’s bank waiting to be found. Locals in the area are asked to be on the lookout for any signs of Tristen.
— James S. Vaughan (@jvaughan1175) June 6, 2014
WATE News reported that a Hickman County rescue boat capsized while searching for the missing autistic child, but the rescue team all managed to escape flood waters safely.
According to News Channel 5, about 100 people are expected to take part in today’s search for the six-year-old boy. The autistic boy was wearing a white t-shirt, blue shorts and tennis shoes when he was swept away by the flood waters in Hickman County, Tennessee.
[Photo provided by the family]