31-year-old Christopher Schultz didn’t think twice when he jumped from a bridge in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota after his 3-year-old son fell into the water.
The father started to struggle while keeping his son above the water, according to Becker County Sheriff’s Office.
Witnesses ran into the lake and took the boy to the shore. Unfortunately, Schultz never resurfaced, said Sheriff Todd Glander.
Authorities received reports about the incident at around 8:22 am at Long Bridge at Dead Shot Bay. Emergency services looked for the father-of-four and he was found at 9:07 am.
Schultz was rushed to the hospital but he was pronounced dead. Investigators identified the man as Christopher Franklin Nicholas Schultz, 31, of Becker County.
Bill Wickum, a resident in Detroit Lakes, said the area where the 3-year-old fell in is dangerous.
“You’re a father you’re going to do anything you can to save the kid,” he told Fox 2 Detroit.
“It is deep, there is a current, but it’s fairly close to where you can touch – five strokes to where you can probably hit bottom.”
He added: “He [Schultz] made the ultimate sacrifice for his son, and I hope his son grows up to be a worthy recipient of that because you can’t think of any greater sacrifice. So, that’s a sad, sad, story.”
The child was treated for non-life threatening injuries, said authorities.
Matthew Clark, Schultz’ friend, described him as a hero for saving the child. He posted on Facebook: “Rest in Peace Topher Schultz. I am beside myself upon hearing the news. you saved your childs life.
“You’re a hero. you always been a stand up guy to me and i always enjoyed our convos. you where a funny and fun person. you will be missed by many.”
Clark also said to KVLY-TV: “Without a hesitation jumping in – that’s heroic, to me that’s an honorable death.
“Guy just sacrificed his life to make sure his kid could see another day. He wasn’t thinking about anything else other than that.
“I really feel for the kids because when they’re calling for daddy they’re not going to understand why he’s not going to be able to come home.”
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