NewsLocal News


Teen rescues 4-year-old from Spanish Fork River

Posted at 6:47 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 20:51:35-04

SPANISH FORK, Utah — A Utah family experienced one of their worst nightmares Monday afternoon when their child was separated from the group and fell into a river.

But thankfully, a passerby didn’t hesitate to jump in and get the 4-year-old out of the water.

The boy's mother said words can’t describe how grateful she is.

Tori Williams with her 4-year-old son Zac frequent the Spanish Fork River Trail, but Monday turned out unlike any other day for them.

“We were starting off on this river trail, we're here with our family,” Tori said. “I had this little guy [Zac] and a couple of other kids, and then all of a sudden he just stops right on the side.”

The trail at times has steep embankments that lead down to the Spanish Fork River.

“I thought it was pretty steep... I could see him wobbling," Tori said. "He didn't know where to put his foot.”

Zac lost his footing and slipped down the hill.

“Everything was just slow motion in my mind,” Tori said. “I started yelling at my kids, 'Go get your dad.' And then I start waking way down. I was wearing flip-flops.”

But then out of nowhere, help arrived in the form of a passerby.

“This teenager is right there and he just dives and gets him before he gets all the way in,” Tori said. "[The teen] brought him up the hill and then he brought his bike up the hill. It could have been a lot worse — he was right at the edge, his feet were in the water and he was just hanging on with his little hands... It was crazy [and] could have been worse.”

Only with a few bumps and bruises, the 4-year-old is back up and playing and hasn’t missed a beat thanks to this teenager who happened to be at the right place at the right time.

“He's super brave,” Tori said. “It was really brave for a teenager to do that. I think I didn't even know he was there until he started splashing and coming over.”

"[I] don't have the words to say how grateful I am. I went to sleep having nightmares last night, thinking of what could have happened to him,” she said. “I'm so grateful, and I'd given him a big hug.”