Germantown man drowned after saving child’s life

Will Drennan was a beloved football coach in Germantown, friends say.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 7:14 PM EDT
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GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (WMC) -- Germantown is mourning the loss of one of their own who died while saving a child from the rushing waters of a drainage ditch during Tuesday afternoon downpours.

Friends confirmed to Action News 5 that man is 37-year-old Will Drennan. They say around 5 p.m. Tuesday Drennan came to Riverdale Park for the first night of practice for the football team he coached.

The practice never finished due to a thunderstorm that swept into the area.

“I’ve seen a lot of pop-ups but never rain like this,” Kirk Heffernan told Action News 5.

That rain, which caused a nearby drainage ditch to flood quickly, nearly took the life of a 6-year-old boy who fell in. However, according to witnesses, Will Drennan jumped in saving the young boy but ultimately losing his own life.

“He died a hero,” Heffernan said.

Witnesses said Drennan’s son witnessed the entire incident.

“This is just too awful for words,” Germantown resident Shelby Foltz said.

Heffernan, who met Drennan through their job, says the two quickly became great friends—traveling, coaching, and raising children around the same age. He said the loss of their friend is palpable.

“He had teammates, players he was coaching. It’s going to take a community effort to heal from this one.”

Other friends were also at the site of Drennan’s sacrifice Wednesday afternoon. Some of them told Action News 5 they want something done about what they say is a “danger to the community” with it being so close to a spot so many children frequent daily.

We reached out to the City of Germantown for comment, but at this time, we haven’t heard back.

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