‘He died a hero’: Widow’s emotional account of losing husband to Middle TN flooding


WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Humphreys County widow is remembering her husband as a hero this holiday, the first without him.

As flash flooding hit Humphreys County in the early morning hours of August 21, Scott and Tracy Kilburn hit the road to check on their grand-babies. Within minutes, however, water began to fill their truck, forcing the couple to the hood of their F-150. Scott captured the racing waters on his cell phone moments before he drowned.

“After that, everything just changed within minutes,” Tracy explained with tears in her eyes.

Scott jumped in the rushing water to try and save a woman.

“There’s a lady going by in the water, soaking and screaming for help, and then he went in the water and right after he went in is when I call the wall of water, the tsunami hit. He went under and I never saw him again,” Tracy said.

Neither survived. Tracy, who couldn’t swim, was left stranded on the hood of the truck for the next three hours, praying she would see her husband again

“I was scared. I’ve never been so scared in my life. I was just praying. I just held on to the top of the truck and I prayed and I prayed. I was just in survival mode and I was just praying to God to let the rain stop, and the waters go down,” she said.

She was rescued hours later after witnessing three people drown.

“It was tough, it was tough. That was the last moments with us being together. I just can’t even describe the feeling. There’s just no words,” Tracy said.

Today a memorial cross marks the spot where Scott Kilburn jumped in to try and save someone else’s life, while a flag stands miles away where his body was later found.

“I know he died a hero and that gives me comfort, and I said he earned his wings for sure that day.”

His family still leans on prayer as they grieve, just thankful to still have one another this holiday.

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