‘It’s surreal’: Icy St. John River rescue latest act of bravery for N.B. family
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:30AM ADT
Last Updated Friday, April 21, 2017 7:24AM ADT
A crash that sent a pickup truck into the St. John River in Perth-Andover, N.B. is the latest act of bravery for one New Brunswick family.
Nick Sutthery jumped into the icy river to save a man whose truck left West Riverside Drive around 8 a.m. Wednesday.
“All I heard someone say was, ‘Call 911, somebody went into the river,’” says Nick. “I took off; I was still in my boxers and bare feet,”
The driver was struggling in the water against strong currents and cold temperatures.
“I saw he was moving quickly and the current and undertow was pulling him under and taking him down the river,” says Nick. “To be honest, I wasn't thinking much, I was thinking what I could do.”
Nick helped the driver, a 37-year-old man from the Kintore area, to shore.
“I was half in the water and half on the riverbank. I grabbed him as the current was taking him,” says Nick. “I had one opportunity to get down there and grab him and get him out of the water, or I don't think I would have been able to save him.”
The driver was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Saving people from the river seems to be a family tradition; Nick's mother and father, Kyle and Rhonda Sutthery, were awarded medals of bravery for rescuing a man who had driven into the river 40 years ago.
“I don't know, it’s surreal,” says Rhonda. “Just to think, again, the mighty St. John, you never know what can happen with it.”
Other members of the Sutthery family have also done the same thing.
“My brother also saved a guy in Fredericton from the river; he swam out to the car and saved a guy,” says Kyle.
The latest family rescue is the talk of the town.
“I've been happy; I’ve been teary-eyed from all the feedback from the community,” says Nick.
In addition to the man driving the vehicle, police say a dog was also in the truck and is believed to have died.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore