A man was hospitalized after he tried to save his son who slipped on rocks and into the river at a park in Washington, with the current sweeping both of them down a 15-foot waterfall.
Robert Brown, of Vancouver, Wash., said he jumped into the water at Lucia Falls Regional Park this past Sunday after his 12-year-old son, Michael, slipped into the Lewis River and the current swept him toward the falls.
Robert described the moments before the fall to Fox 12 in Oregon saying, “We saw some kid jumping off the side of the rocks and I said, 'Michael,' I said 'that’s how accidents happen right there,' and we end up being the accident.”
He told the station that while they were showing the area to family members who were visiting from out of town, his son asked if he could walk across some rocks which were upstream of the falls.
“He wanted to go ahead and cross over at that point,” Robert told the station. “I was good with that.”
“In the process [he] slipped on a rock,” he continued.
Michael fell into the water and the river’s strong current then pushed him in the direction of the waterfalls.
Robert told the station he tried to grab his son but was unsuccessful.
“When I was going down, I tried to grab on to some rocks, but I couldn’t because it was covered in moss and algae and stuff,” Michael told Fox 12.
“That’s when he went underwater and wasn’t coming back up immediately,” Robert said. “So, I had my cell phone on me, just ditched it and just dove right in to get him.”
Robert told the station he tried to save his son when they were in the fast-moving water but they could not connect. They both ultimately fell down the 15-foot waterfall.
Fortunately, the son was able to make it to shore and reportedly suffered just a bruise on his arm.
His father, the station reported, was hospitalized with a broken neck and had a deep cut above his eye.
His wife, Amy, who had watched the situation unfold, told the station, “It is absolutely a miracle that these two came out over a waterfall and came out alive.”
“It’s a grace of God that I’m here,” Robert told Fox 12.
“Life is precious and it can change in a heartbeat,” he added.
His son called him his “hero” for jumping in the water in an attempt to save him.