OGDEN Utah (ABC 4 News) – A dramatic 911 call showed a valiant effort by a Good Samaritan to save a life.
But Austin Vaughan testified in court that the swimmer, Ester Fujimoto couldn’t be saved.
A medical examiner testified that Fujimoto bled to death after being struck by the propeller of a boat.
The boat belonged to Skyler Shepherd who is the first of three defendants on trial for Fujimoto’s death. The tree defendants are accused of leaving the scene of an accident which lead to Fujimoto’s death.
In court, the jury listened to the 911 call Vaughan made to the Weber County dispatch after rowing his boat to where Fujimoto was at.
"I heard her yelling and screaming and I went down from my house and I saw the boat,” Vaughan could be heard saying on the 911 audio recording.
Moments earlier Vaughan testified that he heard a loud noise on the reservoir that got his attention. Vaughan lives nearby. He testified that he looked closer and saw a boat lnear the swimmer. But moments later it left. And that’s when he grabbed a rowboat and headed towards the swimmer. He told the dispatcher the following:
Anderson: “She doesn't answer me anymore.”
Dispatch: “She's not answering you any more?”
Anderson: “I'm holding onto her. You know what? I can't pull her in.”
Dispatch: “Just hold onto her then. Okay? Hello? Is she going unconscious?”
Anderson: “Yes she's unconscious."
It was a moment that rekindled memories for the family of Ester Fujimoto. They were in court listening to the final moments of Ester's life.
"That horror of what we initially knew what happened and because it’s live and it’s actually what happened is reliving that all over again,” says Bryan Fujimoto, Ester’s brother.
And for Anderson who saw Fujimoto’s life slipping away, there was nothing more he could do.
“Come on lady don’t leave me,” Anderson says on the 911 audio recording.
Fujimoto appeared to have died while Anderson was holding her.
“A Good Samaritan came to her rescue unfortunately there was nothing he could do,” the brother says. “He tried, he is my hero. Vaughan Anderson is my hero."
Monday, the medical examiner testified that Ester Fujimoto died a “painful death.” She had been cut repeatedly by the boat’s propeller.