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Who would you save?

New Zealand — As his wife floundered screaming for help in murky river water, a frantic New Zealand man was forced to abandon a bid to rescue his teenage son to save his partner from drowning, he said Monday.

Stacy Horton saved his wife, Vanessa, 35, as their son Silva, 13, drowned in the Whanganui River on North Island after her car plunged into the river late Saturday.

Horton said he arrived at the crash scene less than two minutes after the accident to hear his wife screaming in the darkness and to see his son's friend and the family dog scrambling up the bank. His son Silva was trapped inside the submerged station wagon.

He tried to dive down to the vehicle, which was nose down but with the tail lights burning more than 3 feet (1 meter) below the surface, he told the Dominion Post newspaper.

Answer Question
 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 6:36 PM on Nov. 30, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • I tried to get down and get him but I couldn't – it was just too deep. And Vanessa was going under," Horton told the newspaper.

    "I made a call to pull my wife to safety. I looked back and I could see the tail lights but it was too far and I couldn't get him," he said.

    "Instead of going down and risking my life as well as my wife and son's, I chose to take V(anessa) back and sat on the shore praying. It was all I could do," a distraught Horton said.

    Police and fire officers also were unable to rescue the boy from inside the vehicle.

    Mid-Central police spokeswoman Kim Perks said Monday it was a very tough call for Horton. "I would certainly not have wanted to be in his shoes."

    Senior fire station officer Gary Wilson said the water was dark and murky and firefighters struggled in vain to reach the car.
    We tried everything but to no avail," Wilson said.

    Divers recovered the boy's body on Sunday.
    sweet-a-kins

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 6:36 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • How HORRIBLE!! I feel terrible for him and his wife...

    sweet-a-kins

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 6:37 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • That is so sad!

    LuvBug3

    Answer by LuvBug3 at 6:38 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • Wow...that is absolutely horrible. What a horrible situation to be in...that's a nightmare. However, I think my motherly instincts would kick in in this situation and I'd risk my life trying to save my son. My husband wouldn't wish for me to do anything different, and I'd hope my husband would save our son before me.
    StefanieN84

    Answer by StefanieN84 at 6:42 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • I hope I never have to make that call but I think I would have gone for my son first and it is my hope that if it was my husband in this situation he would too have saved our son. My heart goes to the family.
    bebita

    Answer by bebita at 6:43 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • Wow...that is absolutely horrible. What a horrible situation to be in...that's a nightmare. However, I think my motherly instincts would kick in in this situation and I'd risk my life trying to save my son. My husband wouldn't wish for me to do anything different, and I'd hope my husband would save our son before me.


    I feel the same, I think the guy probably panicked and thought he couldn't get to his son and didn't want to lose them both...I read this and was just heart broken! So very sad..I know it that were me he saved I would have a HARD time dealing with it...

    sweet-a-kins

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 6:47 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • I know it that were me he saved I would have a HARD time dealing with it...


    ...this
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:52 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • Sad story. In the hospital we are taught to evacuate in numbers-the ambulatory and easiest/less acute pts first-therefore, increasing the total saved. I believe the man made the correct call. He saved the surest survivor first. Had he spent time trying to extricate his son from the car, it's likely his wife would have died too.

    Sisteract

    Answer by Sisteract at 6:54 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • I bet it was that he could save one but not both. He went for the one that had the greatest chance of success instead of loose both. I don't envey him the decision. How sad.
    jesse123456

    Answer by jesse123456 at 7:00 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • What a heartbreaking story. Unless I was in a situation like this, I have no clue what I would do. Logically I think I would have to go after the one I thought I had the greates chance of survival- which is what he did. Had he gone after his son, his wife could have drowned and he still might not have been able to get the child out of the car. However I think my instincts would be to try to go after my child before everything else. I really don't know... I hope that I never have to find out! My heart goes out to this family.
    Freela

    Answer by Freela at 7:54 PM on Nov. 30, 2009

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