70-Year-Old Saves Neighbor, 76, From Well - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

70-Year-Old Saves Neighbor, 76, From Well

MSNBC.COM - A 76-year-old woman is recovering in the hospital after a neighbor just six years her junior helped save her from a 20-foot-deep well.

May Elliott had decided to do a little yard work Wednesday afternoon when she accidentally stepped on a rotted well cover.

"I went down pretty hard," May Elliott told msnbc.com from her hospital room near Buffalo, N.Y. "I was shocked. I went straight down. I went underneath the water, and when I came back up, I was screaming. It's one of those crazy things you never expect to happen."

Next-door neighbor Ray Colpoys, 70, was in the yard of his Collins, N.Y., home Wednesday and ran over when he heard the commotion.

"I couldn't find her, but I heard her screaming, and I said, 'Where are you?' and she says, 'I'm in the well,'" he told msnbc.com.

Colpoys rushed over to the three-foot-wide well in the bushes of Elliott's yard, which is functional, but not in use.

"All those years, I was always so careful with that well," said Elliott, who has lived in her home for 30 years. "I always kept kids away from it, kept people away from it when I had guests over."

The well, along with the house, was built in 1900, Elliott told msnbc.com. On Wednesday afternoon, she accidentally stepped on the wooden cover, which she had just replaced last year after noticing the well's old cement cover had deteriorated.

But heavy rains over the past year had apparently weakened the wood. "It was rotted and she went right through," neighbor Colpoys said. Click here to read more

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