Austin firefighters honored for 1959 flooding rescue

Two Austin firefighters finally got the recognition they deserved after saving two little girls during flooding almost 60 years ago. 

Back in October 1959, floodwaters swept the Rice family's car away from the South First Street Bridge and into Williamson Creek. The family included the parents, six-year-old twin sisters and their older brother and sister. 

Everyone was able to get out of the sinking car except for the twins.

Fortunately firefighters Bob Luce was able to grab one of the girls and pull her to shore while retired Captain Leo Meek grabbed the other girl.

Both retired firefighters were awarded a Medal of Valor on April 21.

Officials say that they haven't been able to figure out while the Luce and Meek were never recognized by the Austin Fire Department. 

When asked about the rescue, Luce said, "One of the greatest things about it. When I handed her back to her mother, she said 'Thank You' and that was a great feeling."

One of the twins and her mother were at the ceremony and there weren't a lot of dry eyes in the room.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent


FOX 7 News streams at the following times (all times Central):

Monday - Friday

4:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.

12 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

9 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.


6 a.m. - 8 a.m.

6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

9 p.m. to 10 p.m.


6 a.m. - 8 a.m.

5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Schedule subject to change in the event of network sports coverage.

We also stream press conferences and other breaking news coverage from time to time. When we are not in a live newscast, you will see replays of the most recent broadcast.

To enter full screen Mode click the button.

For closed captioning, click on the button while in full screen mode.

Desktop/tablet users: To choose the stream's video quality, click on the button (while in full screen mode) and choose from 432p or 270p.

Mobile users:The video quality default is to your phone's settings.

Please allow time for buffering. If the stream stalls, refresh your browser. Thanks for watching

Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories