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Man Survives Being Sucked Into Drainage Pipe


WASHINGTON, Okla. -- A Washington man was sucked into a drainage pipe while cleaning out his pond, the day after floods wreaked havoc across central Oklahoma on Aug. 19.


Doug Kennon told Eyewitness News 5 that he was cleaning out debris from his pond just a day after Tropical Storm Erin dumped several inches of rain on the state. Kennon came too close to a tinhorn pipe and was sucked under the surface.


"About a foot and a half, two feet away from it, and it sucked my left foot in," Kennon said.


He said he struggled for several minutes before deciding to just let go and let the water push him through.


"I was just like a missile, and it shot me just spinning me like a bullet into the bottom of the creek," Kennon said.


That creek, he said, was 60 feet downstream.


Kennon suffered some cuts and bruises but should recover fully. However, he said his survival was made possible by his willingness to fight.


For six or seven minutes, Kennon screamed for help, grasping at sticks to stay alive -- his feet and chances for survival both slipping away.


"And I was still fighting, but it had turned me over, and now I was face-first down," he said.


Facing reality and what appeared to be his fate, Kennon said his goodbyes. The thought of dying on his girlfriend's son's birthday still haunts him.


"It's Ryan's 13th birthday, and all I could think of was that it was going to be my death day on his birthday," he said.


But Kennon decided to fight by letting go and allowing the water to push his body through a 12-inch drain, and it worked.


"It's hard to believe still," said his girlfriend, Angie Davis, who found Kennon after he had clawed his way out of the creek. She's been nursing him to health ever since, but that's better than the alternative.


"I'd rather take care of him than have to bury him," she said.


"Fight to live, and I'm here alive today because I fought," he said.


Kennon said he thought about his girlfriend, her son, his favorite players on the Oklahoma Sooners football team and his father, who a summer ago had been diagnosed with Stage 4 terminal cancer.


His father has survived though and, doctors said, he is now cancer-free.

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