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911 dispatcher who told drowning woman to “shut up” in her final moments cleared


A former 911 dispatcher in Arkansas was cleared after being slapped with allegations of mishandling a 911 call involving a dying woman, having told the victim to “shut up.”

Donna Reneau was found to have violated policy during a call in August, when Debbie Stevens’ SUV was caught in a flash flood.

During the call, Renau spoke rudely to Stevens, but chastised her for driving into deep flood waters.

Stevens began to panic, telling Renau that she was going to die.

“You’re not going to die,” Reneau responded to the Fort Smith resident. “I don’t know why you’re freaking out … You freaking out is doing nothing but losing your oxygen in there. So, calm down.”

Later, Renau used blunt words to try and get Stevens to focus.

“Miss Debbie, you’re going to have to shut up. OK. I need you to listen,” said the dispatcher.

Debra Stevens drowned before first responders could reach her SUV.

According to ABC News, Reneau was not fired, as she had resigned earlier in the month and was on her last shift when the call came in.

“No evidence of criminal negligence or activities on former Operator Reneau’s part. In fact, the evidence shows that while Operator Reneau spoke rudely to Mrs. Stevens during the call, she actually bumped the call up in the order of importance shortly after receiving it,” the Fort Smith Police Department said in a report, which was released last Friday.

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