LINDEN, Tenn. -- A wife watched in agony Sunday as her husband attempted to save their daughter from floodwaters, only to lose both of them.
Sherry Qualls' husband, Bobby, tried to save the couple's daughter, Kylie, from chest-deep water in a rushing creek in their back yard.
Bobby Qualls had earlier managed to take his son to higher ground, but by the time he tried to rescue his daughter, the water had already risen substantially. Kylie was hugging a tree to keep from being swept away.
Sherry Qualls said it was the last time she saw both her husband and daughter alive.
"From his neck up, he was staring at me. He didn't say anything, just staring at me. She was screaming for her daddy to help her, and then by the time the rescue squad got her, I didn't see them anymore. I didn't see them float away," she said.
Bobby Qualls' body was found Monday a mile downstream. His daughter's body was in a field, not far from where her father was discovered.
"He was a hero. He sacrificed himself for his kids; that's what I think," said Sherry Qualls.
Looking around the property where her home once stood, Sherry Qualls said she can't help but think of the memories that still linger.
"Every time I drive in the driveway, I see my daughter standing at the door smiling and him, too, and I expect them to call me and ask where I'm at," she said.
A fund has been set up at First Bank in Linden. The public can mail donations to:
First Bank/The Bobby Qualls Fund
120 West Main Street
Linden, TN 37096
Or make a credit card contribution by calling Perry Community Hospital at 1-931-589-2121.
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