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Former Oklahoma Football Player Drowns in Rescue

May 28, 1989 GMT

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) _ Former NFL football player and University of Oklahoma standout Jerry Anderson drowned Saturday morning after pulling two young boys out of a rain- swollen river in Murfreesboro.

Anderson, 36, of Tulsa, Okla., died about 11:49, according to Capt. Bill Todd of the Murfreesboro Police Department.

Anderson, a Murfreesboro native, had taken two young boys fishing at Stones River, Todd said.

When they arrived, Anderson saw two boys, thought to be 11 or 12 years old, attempting to cross a dam spanning the river. One or both of the boys fell into the water, Todd said.


″Mr. Anderson jumped in the water and managed to get the little boys out, but witnesses said he went under two or three times and about the fourth time, he didn’t come back up,″ Todd said.

Rescue workers called to the scene pulled Anderson from the lake and took him to Murfreesboro’s Middle Tennessee Medical Center, where efforts to revive him failed, he said.

Five years ago, Anderson helped people in Tulsa who were trapped in buildings and cars when Dirty Butter Creek flooded the north part of the city. He was honored by the city for his heroic actions after the Memorial Day flood in 1984.

Anderson earned a reputation as a strong cornerback on the University of Oklahoma’s 1975 national champion team.

He had a short NFL career at Cincinnati, where he was drafted in 1977, and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also played with the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Canadian Football League, but ended his career after a second knee operation in 1982.