Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eagle Harbor Mom Turns into a Hero; "It Really Feels Divinely Inspired," She Says; She Rescues Boy Whose Father Was Trying to Kill Him

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eagle Harbor Mom Turns into a Hero; "It Really Feels Divinely Inspired," She Says; She Rescues Boy Whose Father Was Trying to Kill Him

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY MARAGHY

Melissa Hawkinson, an Eagle Harbor mother of four children, said she's often had nightmares about children drowning in submerged vehicles.

Today, she wonders if the dreams were premonitions, part of God's way of preparing her to pluck 5-year-old Cameron Dorsey from Doctors Lake on Monday.

"It really feels divinely inspired," said Hawkinson, a registered nurse-turned- stay-home mother. "Unusual things happened that day. Just the way things lined up that day. It was just so surreal."

Meanwhile, Darren Dorsey, the child's father, remains in the Clay County Jail on $1 million bond on attempted murder and aggravated child abuse charges for driving his car into the lake with his son strapped in the back seat of the car.

Hawkinson said her twin 6-year-olds ordinarily ride their bicycles to Fleming Island Elementary School. But on Monday, their father had driven them. Hours later, she went to their school to help with her daughters' classroom Thanksgiving party.

When the party was over, on a whim, she decided to check the twins out early, so she wouldn't have to drive back for them later. She said that normally she's good about logging her volunteer hours in the book in the front office. On this day, she forgot to do it. A task that could have held her up several minutes.

While driving home with twins in tow, Hawkinson said she stopped her vehicle when she saw and heard a huge splash in Doctors Lake. She and her children ran down the dock to inspect what she suspected was a bad jet ski crash.

"I saw the car. I saw the man and a child was crying. I took off my leather boots and dove in," she said. "It was a mom's first instinct. For a half-second, I did think, this is going to be cold. It was cold, but it didn't register really."

Hawkinson said the car was sinking and the windows were cracked open about an inch. She said she tried to talk to the driver, whom police later identified as Darren Dorsey. She said he was mumbling to the child, later identified as Dorsey's son, Cameron. She couldn't make out his words. She told Dorsey he needed to get out of the car and asked him if there were others in the car but she said he just gave her blank stares and wouldn't cooperate. …

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