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Fort Erie man saves young boy, rescues mother from Niagara River

"It was people that needed help and I did what I could do to help"
Posted at 10:19 PM, Sep 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 06:29:00-04

FORT ERIE, Ontario (WKBW) — A Fort Erie man jumped into action Friday night after learning a young mother and her son were in distress in the Niagara River.

Bob Steckley tells 7 Eyewitness News this all unfolded Friday night after he came home from a shopping trip in Niagara Falls. He says he saw a woman running across to the road to the water's edge, panicked. That's when he grabbed life jackets and jumped into the water.

“I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I ran down there but got down there. And it was obvious somebody had to do something and I had life jackets," Steckley said.

After saving the mother and her child, he and a bystander started CPR on the mother until authorities arrived. Both the woman and child were transported to the hospital. The mother later died at the hospital.

Steckley says he's been in touch with the family, who tells him the little boy is out of the hospital and recovering with family Sunday evening. Police have yet to release the identify of the 29-year-old woman and little boy saved.

"I subscribe to the belief that if someone is in trouble, and you're in a position to help, then you should help. And that's all I did Friday night. I was in a position to help. It was people that needed help and I did what I could do to help," Steckley said. He continued, "I don't know what else to say. It's it's kind of how I live my life. And I've always stepped in with something I can do with it. If I can make the situation better, I tried to do that. I try to go the extra mile for people and give them the benefit of the doubt."

This rescue is part of a complicated case in Fort Erie near Jarvis Street and Niagara Boulevard. Niagara Regional Police say the woman and boy were two of three in the Niagara River Friday around 6:30p.m.

Police recovered the body of Joshawa Raymond Douglas Brooks, 28, Saturday who they say was the third person in the water and is wanted for attempted murder in relation to the child rescued from the river.

Anyone with information is asked to call Niagara Regional police dispatch at 905-688-4111.

A Gofundme has raised over $10,000 in less than 24 hours. According to the Gofundme, the money raised will goes towards helping the family cover funeral expenses for the mother and future costs for the children.