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By Margaret Gillerman ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri)

FENTON - A woman and her 5-year-old grandson were struggling for their lives Thursday after the SUV they were in plunged into the Meramec River.
The Dodge Durango rolled into the river at Yarnell and Larkin Williams roads about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday near Fenton. Several passers-by and emergency rescue crews jumped into the murky water to try to save them.
Police said both were unconscious when they were pulled from the river.
The car was submerged for about eight to 10 minutes, said a witness at the scene.
The child was at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center while his grandmother, Sandra Branham, 69, of Crestwood was at St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur. She is in critical condition. The family asked that the child's condition not be disclosed.
Neal Seemayer, 57, of Fenton, was among the first at the scene. He said Thursday that he was on the way to the ballgame Wednesday evening when nearby golfers hollered for help. Several people plunged into the Meramec to try to help.
"I went in and you could see where the bubbles were coming up out of the water," Seemayer said. "I couldn't get to it the first time, but the second time I did." Seemayer said the car ended up almost 50 feet from the bank in about 8 feet of water.
Seemayer said: "I reached in through a broken window and then went to the other side but couldn't get them out."
Moments later, St. Louis County police arrived.
Emergency crews from the Fenton and Valley Park fire protection districts and nearby areas helped to rescue the grandmother and grandson. Among the rescuers was Paul Seemayer, a firefighter and paramedic for Fenton, and Neal Seemayer's brother.
Officials said they did not yet know the cause of the accident.

Wire Service
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