Acxiom Sales Rep Dies Trying to Save Swimmer
Acxiom sales rep Ken Brindley, 36, of Conway, AR, had tried to rescue Larry LaMotte, 60, who was struggling in the strong surf off Grayton Beach, one of the Florida panhandle's oldest beach communities. Earlier reports saying LaMotte had gone into the water to rescue his 12-year-old son from high surf and rip currents were not correct, said Deputy Dennis Wise of the Walton County Sheriff's Office.
Brindley and another man jumped into the water to attempt the rescue, Wise said. Beach patrol officers and others eventually pulled all three from the water.
Brindley was revived and taken to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, FL, where he remained in critical condition before dying Tuesday. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette said Brindley experienced kidney and liver failure, though the exact cause of death was unavailable. LaMotte died Sunday, according to reports. Wise said the third man was not injured.
Local authorities had warned beachgoers over the weekend that the surf was too strong to enter. The Gazette said beach patrols performed 36 water rescues Sunday. The Associated Press reported yesterday that nine people died over the weekend in the waters of the Florida panhandle. A county commissioner for Walton County, where most of the drownings occurred, told the AP that the county cannot afford lifeguards.
"I'm not sure that even lifeguards could have made a difference Sunday," commissioner Tim Pauls told the AP in response to citizens' complaints about the lack of lifeguards.
Brindley was responsible for developing business in the travel and leisure industry, as well as building and managing relationships with data list brokers. He worked at Acxiom since June 1988 and was named to the Acxiom Golden Circle for sales achievement last month.
"Anyone who knew Ken is not surprised that he would risk his own safety to help someone else," Acxiom spokesman Dale Ingram said.
Brindley's sales involvement included work in the high-tech, telecommunications, packaged goods and seminar industries. Before joining the sales force, he spent two years in client support roles at Acxiom. He had bachelor's degrees in economics and accounting from Hendrix College in Conway.
Brindley is survived by his wife, Melanie, and their two children, a 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.