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Man rescues son who fell into river

Fri., Sept. 14, 2012

Boy went over wall of downtown bridge

A father jumped into the Spokane River from the Washington Street bridge to rescue his 23-month-old son after the toddler fell off the bridge Thursday afternoon.

Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said the boy was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, a far different ending than the usual responses to that area, he said.

“This is really a good outcome compared to what we’re used to,” Schaeffer said.

He said the boy and his father, whose names Schaeffer said he was not able to release, were walking along the bridge when somehow the boy went over the wall.

Miraculously, he said, the boy fell in a location where there was a pool of water, as most of the area below is shallow, with a rocky bottom.

The father immediately jumped into the water, grabbed his son and carried him to shore. A witness called 911.

“When we arrived, both the father and child were out of the water,” Schaeffer said.

Schaeffer said normally when people are rescued after falling or jumping from that area, “they’re not able to walk away, if they’re even able to leave alive.”

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