“I’d went across and seen that he’d come up, so I run up the riverbank.”
Nick Sutthery is describing how he jumped into action after he got word someone had driven into the St John River in front of his home.
“Someone came up on the porch and started banging on the door, so my father opened the door and the woman starts saying call 911 someone went in the river.”
In his boxers and bare feet, Nick ran down the steep bank to the truck that had submerged in the water.
“When I got over there he had just surfaced to the top. He must have just come up out of the water, but the current was pulling him under, he was coming back up and going back down, it was taking him really fast down the river.”
Nick was able to wade into the chilly water and grab hold of the man.
“I think if I wouldn’t have got him in that one grab I would have had to either jump in or he would have been gone.”
A 37 year old man was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries following the incident. Nick hasn’t heard how he is doing, but he has heard from his parents.
“His mother thanks me for saving her son and gave me a big hug. I’m just glad I could help.”
Helping someone in need isn’t unheard of for Sutthery family. In 1976 Nick’s parents were in a similar situation in the same area.
“Rhonda, my wife now, at the time we were boyfriend and girlfriend worked at Carl’s canteen up the road about a quarter of a mile and buddy left the canteen in a pickup, spinning his truck, went right straight across the road and into the river.”
Kyle jumped into action and went into the water to help the man. Rhonda was a life guard at the time and was able to bring the two men to safely to shore. This act resulted in the couple receiving the medal of bravery.
“It was quite an experience and to see that happen again would be lovely, to see my son get the same experience because it was, it was a great experience.”
An experience this family won’t soon forget..and while many are hailing them heroes, they say they just did what they thought was right.
Investigators have not been able to recover the truck from the river. A dog was in the vehicle at the time, and RCMP believe it has died. The investigation into the crash in ongoing.