Boy honored for heroism

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : June 20, 2017

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–Recently the 8-year-old grandson of Gun Barrel City Councilman Ron Wyrick was honored with a Texas House Resolution and flag flown over the capitol in Austin for his heroism in the aftermath of the April 29 tornado north of Mabank. The honors were presented during a June 10 fundraiser, and was a complete surprise to the young hero.
Zachery had been traveling with his parents and two siblings from Winnsboro to Gun Barrel City to spend the weekend with grandpa when their GMC Sububan was tossed by an EF-4 tornado as they traveled along State Highway 198 between Canton and Mabank. Wyrick’s daughter, Holly Cousin, suffered a broken neck and her husband, Seth, ruptured six spinal discs in his back, broke several ribs and was severely injured. First responders had to pry him out of the vehicle which landed upside-down.
Winnsboro resident Marian Ritchie rallied the community to assist this family by organizing a number of fundraisers and setting up a help account at the First National Bank of Winnsboro for the Cousin family. On June 10, a benefit miniature golfing tournament at Creekside Golf attracted more than 100 participants and included a wide assortment of carnival games all aimed at raising funds and fun on their behalf. During that event, Fifth District Texas House Representative Cole Hefner read the Resolution passed on the House Floor and presented a flag flown over the capitol May 29, one month after the tornado collided with his family’s SUV.
“I thought it was cool,” Zachery told The Monitor. Also on hand was the Mayor of Winnsboro, police chief and other dignitaries offering speeches and praise for the young man. Hefner expressed his hope that Zachery would consider becoming a Texas representative someday, a totally new thought for Zachery. “I want to become a fireman, like my grandpa,” he told The Monitor.
Zachery said, he heard his dad say, ‘Hang on it’s a tornado!” He also said, he saw a powerline coming down and a tree being uprooted. The next thing he knew he was crawling out of the vehicle which had tumbled end-over end several times before coming to rest.
He said he saw his mom walking up to the road to flag down some help. “I saw my brother (Carter, 10) hanging out of the window.” Zachery helped his brother get out of the car and led him to their mother, because Carter couldn’t see. After several tries, Zachery released his little sister, Birdy, from her car seat and carried her to safety.
He tried to help his father, who was smashed into the floorboards of the front seat, but had to wait for more help to come.
Zachery’s mom had suffered a broken neck, but wasn’t aware of it until later as she was desperate to get help for her family. A passing car stopped and helped her and her children get immediate help at Gun Barrel City-ETMC Emergency Room. After much effort, rescuers freed Zachery’s father using a power extractor.
The Resolution read and passed on the Texas House floor concludes with these words: “In a dire situation, Zachery Cousin distinguished himself exceptionally brave and capable young Texan, and his remarkable heroism is an inspiration to all who know him; now therefore be it resolved, that the House of Representatives of the 85th Texas House hereby honor Zachery Cousin for his efforts to rescue his family after a serious vehicle accident and extend to him and his loved ones our sincere best wishes for the future.”