BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/FOX24) — The woman who jumped into a storm drain to try and save a young boy has died.
It happened Monday, Aug. 29 after heavy rain fell on Northwest Arkansas. Tanya “Tawny” Hinton was spending the afternoon with Cade and Chandler Law and her own son, who was best friends with the Law boys.
A statement from the Law family said they were playing in a retention area when they spotted a whirlpool. Bentonville Police said it was near Southeast C and Southeast 28th street.
The family said they began throwing sticks into the whirlpool when 11-year-old Cade tried to grab his stick back and was sucked into the storm drain.
“She’s the type of person who would help anybody,” said Tawny’s husband Craig.
Craig said his wife was a selfless person, and she proved that strength when she jumped in to try and save Cade from the storm drain.
“My younger son Sean was there and Chandler was there,” said Craig. “It was really emotional trying to figure out what happened.”
Cade died that day at the hospital, but Tawny was on life support for several days.
“They put her in hypothermic treatment therapy just to reduce swelling in the brain and just to bring all fluid into the vital organ,” he said.
When it became clear she wasn’t going to survive, they made the decision to let her go.
“Had my boys there a little bit after that to kind of say the final goodbyes, and that was really rough,” he said.
She died Saturday afternoon, less than a month after celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary.
“It didn’t really kick in until she was taken off the respirator and she did pass,” he said. “It was very quick so I’m very grateful about that.”
He said they will be donating her organs as her final gift to others. A small memorial with flowers has appeared at the intersection where it happened.
Tawny worked as a DCFS adoption specialist, helping families grow through the love of children. This is something Craig said she was very passionate about, especially when it came to her own family and her two boys.
He said giving her life to save another was who Tawny was in her heart.
“Tawny was a special person,” he said. “She would always help out no matter what and it wouldn’t have mattered if it was her own child or somebody else’s, she would have done that regardless.”
He said they will be cremating her body and holding memorial services in Northwest Arkansas, in Massachusetts where they lived before coming to Bentonville, and in Canada, where she and Craig are from originally.