NEWS- Unwelcome save: No charges in West Leigh suicide try

James McWilliams has had landscaping customers in the West Leigh neighborhood for 25 years and often sees people out and about. So when he saw a woman sitting in a car at the lake on Emerson Drive April 17, he didn't really think much about it. 

What was unusual: looking up a little while later to see her car heading into the water.

"At first I thought she'd accidentally run off the road," says McWilliams. "I could see she was sitting in the car and looking straight ahead."

McWilliams and his associate, Jim Harlow, ran around the side of the lake toward where the car had gone in. "I saw it was going to sink," says McWilliams. "I told my friend to get a hammer."

After flagging down a woman driving by and asking her to call 911, he took off his heavy work boots and hit the water.

The Subaru station wagon floated out toward the middle of the lake before starting to sink, front-end first. "As the car filled up, she climbed into the back of the car," says McWilliams. "She was more or less expressionless."

He used the hammer to break the back window of the car, which was filled with clothes. "It looked like she was moving like a college student," he says.

He lifted the woman, whom he estimated to be in her 30s– "very attractive, thin"– into a canoe Harlow had fetched from a dock, and the two men swam the canoe to shore.

"She mentioned she didn't want to be saved," says McWilliams. "She tried to get back into the water."

The two men waited 15 to 18 minutes for rescue services to arrive, he estimates.

Police say no charges have been filed, and they decline to name the woman because she was admitted to UVA Medical Center for psychiatric evaluation. 

Albemarle police Lieutenant John Teixeira says she had no physical injuries.

Candidate for Albemarle sheriff Larry Claytor was on the dive team that found the car and hooked it up to be towed out of the lake. 

"It was pretty much a routine operation," says Claytor. "The car was totally under water and out of sight. I saw some bubbles and we dropped right on it. It was only about 10 feet down."

Claytor reports that a small amount of oil and gas came out of the car, and the Fire Department's hazmat unit put a thick absorbent pad around the lake's overflow. He credits the two landscapers for being there to rescue the woman.

McWilliams says he wasn't afraid to plunge into the lake because he's a pretty good swimmer. "I didn't want to have to go under water to get her," he says. "It was muddy." McWilliams remembers one other thing about the water that day: "It was cold."

This isn't his first rescue. "I saved my dog one time who fell through the ice," he says.

James McWilliams and Jim Harlow were cleaning up some trees that high winds had blown down in West Leigh when they noticed a car rolling into the subdivision's lake.

The usually tranquil Loch Leigh in Ivy was the scene of an attempted suicide and dramatic rescue April 17.



John, would you have objected if Seung Cho had been detained without charges being issued because he was thought to be danger to himself and/or others? If, in other words, he had been involuntarily committed based on his writings?

If outpatient commitment had not been on the books in Virginia in 12/05, if it had not been a legal option, Cho Would have been involuntarily committed to an inpatient psychiatric hospital. We need to get rid of outpatient commitment as an option in Virginia.

Just thought I'd repeat that for all you Region Ten lovers. These people are oppressors, and they need to be stopped.

John, if you or someone you know runs into a problem with Region Ten or a state hospital violating your human rights again, you can call the Legal Aid Justice Center's Virginia Institutionalized Persons Project at: 1-800-8111
or 434-977-0553

It's a new program, hasn't been going that long so they probably weren't doing it yet when you called, but they do a lot more than bankruptcy cases at LAJC, seems like you got misinformation or maybe you called Legal Aid somewhere else?

The best way to prevent being TDO'd for protesting is to not do it alone, have one or two other people with you, and if you need a permit for the place you are protesting, be sure to get a permit. And don't protest on private property in case that was an issue--remember a candidate for political office got arrested for leafletting in one of our shopping centers.

Also, if police do approach you, stay calm and stay polite.

"Cletus", would you make ethnic or racial slurs online? Why do you think it's okay to make slurs based on someone's perceived disability?

Is taunting someone you think is dangerous a good idea?

I know Cletus. This guy shows up on every thread claiming to know everything with a wiser than though attitude. He obviously has some amount of legal education but not enough to understand the fine intricacies of the law as an experienced lawyer does. Thus, I'm guessing he is a wannabe lawyer (i.e. law student). Although he is most likely in law school, he talks like he is right out of the gutter. That flaw gives him no credibility from the start. Who can take somebody seriously when that person must use profanity to express themself. Of course, any real lawyer has a hard time taking Cletus seriously anyway. The law is more than your Legalines outline Cletus.

Cletus and John G. Why don't you two flamers get off this thread and go get a room. You're both disgusting.

You ought to read what William Cohen said about this subject. I strongly suspect that the tsunami of 2004 was induced by scalar wave electromagnetic manipulation of the tectonic plates in that area of the Inidan Ocean. Of course, I'm not a egghead scientist with an 200+ IQ, and can't go into the details of exactly how this could be accomplished. All I know is that egghead scientists with 200+ IQ's are out there, and most have jobs with the government or corporations in control of the government. Who knows what an evil genius mind is capable of in this modern age. I suggest you look into the matter. You don't have to use There are plenty of other sources of information about tectonic weaponry, and how it can kill millions while appearing to be an act of nature.