A Wonderful Day and a Terrible Incident

We had such a wonderful day. It was so beautiful out, the outside got tidied up, I got to mow the lawn, but we had a terrible incident that has us all squeezing each other a little tighter tonight and Carver between me and Craig as I type this.

To make a very long story short, we decided to travel to Fredericksburg, a town about 15 minutes from our house. They have a beautiful bike trail that winds through the woods, along the river, through the parks, there is plenty of sun and plenty of shade. Everything is fairly flat and has plenty of places to stop and relax. It was our first time on the trail although Craig went there when he was a little kid.

The trail goes under several bridges, we stopped to toss rocks in the water, we waded out into the water, the boys LOVED it and the water was so shallow.

We stopped at such a nice park. There were things to do for all ages and I even was able to play on the equipment with Carver. Usually it’s pretty cramped for my big butt but not this park!

As we continued on the trail we came across another area on the very end of the trail. It looked like this:

Some water was flowing over the top but it wasn’t anything of a strong current. We were so excited to get out and explore like we had at every other bridge. I was carrying Gannon and I took two steps onto the wet part of the bridge and immediately knew it was slippery and turned around to warn the boys.

Craig and I have spent the rest of the day digesting what happened next and we still aren’t sure of the order of events.

I didn’t hear a splash, I just saw Craig teaching into the water and yelled “CARVER!” Carver was no where to be seen in the dark brown water. Craig pulled his hand out of the water when I realized he didn’t have Carver yet. He reached in again, deep enough that the chest of his shirt was soaked, and after the longest five seconds of our lives, he pulled out a sopping wet Carver.

where he fell in

He had fallen into an eddy in which was in what was perceived to be a fairly shallow creek. It was fairly shallow literally everywhere else, we could see the bottom just fine.. but where Carver fell. After we collected ourselves, Craig stuck a long stick into the area where Carver fell in and guessed it to be about 4 or 5 feet deep. Craig explained why that was such a dangerous place for him to fall in:

Even though it wasn’t a big dam, it was still considered a low head dam that could have so easily taken Carver.

Thankfully, Carver held his breath. I have no idea how. He didn’t cough or sputter once.

We have run through what we thought or what happened all afternoon. We are so thankful Craig was right there. We have exhausted all what ifs. Craig said he could feel Carver caught in the current and headed for the bottom face first. He caught his leg in the first attempt to fish him out, He finally caught him by his t shirt on the second grab.

We think he either slipped in or thought it was shallow like it was on the other side. He tells us he doesn’t want to talk about it. My mom said to him “Carver I heard you fell in the water” and he says “yeah, I heard about that.”

I’ll just never forget that feeling of staring into brown water and knowing my son was in there but could not see him at all. Or when Craig came up empty handed after the first reach. Ugh.

So we are all squeezing each other a little tighter tonight and definitely felt like we were being watched over.

And he has earned a sleepover in our room. many lessons learned today. We still love and plan on going back to that bike trail but maybe just avoid the cemented bridge at the end!

22 thoughts on “A Wonderful Day and a Terrible Incident

  1. Helen A says:

    That is absolutely terrifying. I cannot even imagine having my child under the water and holding my breath not knowing if she’d be found in time. Or if she’d suffer dry drowning afterwards. Thank god he held his breath. I’m so sorry you guys experienced that. At first glance at that bridge I never would’ve expected something like that to happen. I know you’re insane level busy but if you’re able I would let the parks service know what happened. Maybe (hopefully) they’ll put railings or something up to prevent that happening again to anyone else in the future.

  2. Fran Ontiveros says:

    Thank God everything turned out great for you. I know a family that was not so lucky. Similar situation. The six year old boy went out with two teen cousins exploring and the little boy sadly drowned., They did not realize the water on the other side was deep. So thankful you and your family are safe.

  3. Cathy says:

    Carver’s guardian angel was working overtime yesterday. Thank God you are all ok. Try yo have a relaxing day today.

  4. Ellie says:

    Thank God you are all safe! A call to the park department encouraging them to put up signage or fencing would be worthwhile.

  5. Shannon says:

    I’m so glad your child is ok. That section of trail runs through my in-law’s land so my kids have played there all their lives. When the water is up, it is so dangerous and the thought of a child falling into that deep current is terrifying. Thank you for sharing your story.

  6. Linda in NE says:

    So happy it all turned out for the best! Those boys are going to give you gray hair before you know it!

  7. LaNan Eldridge says:

    So very thankful all turned out good. Similar incident vacationing when our youngest daughter would’ve been carvers age…in the pool watching she and her brother and then all of a sudden she wasn’t there…thank goodness a teen age swimming saw and got her! Your heart is definitely in the bottom of your feet and I still remember that feeling and it’s been about 35 years ago! Angels are always around us!

  8. Jody says:

    Hadn’t hear of a low head dam before yesterday. First your explanation of what happened with Carver and then the women who drowned going over the Clermont dam. Prayers for all your family is facing.

  9. Susan the Farm Quilter says:

    I must have missed this post…my heart is racing just reading about it!!! Thank the good Lord Craig was with you and he was able to grab Carver! Can you imagine if you had taken the boys there by yourself!! The dam doesn’t look like the water could be that deep…scary for sure!! It is accidents like this that reinforce our belief in God and being grateful for His mercy!! Glad the Parks and Rec Department is looking into the situation.

  10. Lace Faerie says:

    OMGosh! As a mother, nothing is more heart wrenching than knowing your child is in mortal danger and not being able to anything about it yourself. Thank God for the tender mercy of giving each of us a guardian angel! And strong husbands!

    Water is surprisingly strong. My 6’2” strong and athletic hubby was playing around with my brother in an inflatable kayak on a shallow creek. They went over a small riffle, the kayak folded in half. My brother stood up in the knee deep water, looked around and couldn’t find my hubby. The force and weight of the water on his prostate body had him pinned down flat at the base of the riffle. If my brother hadn’t been there to drag him out by yanking him father downstream, my hubby would have drown in water that didn’t even come up to his knees.

    Now I know why my Mama forbad us to ‘hang out on the river’ as teenagers!

    I am so thankful Carver was ok! Truly!

  11. Judith Fairchild says:

    What an awful experience to go through for all of you.
    Thank you for the pictures showing what happens as the water goes over the dam. It takes courage to sit down just after an incident like this and post the information to let others know of the danger. Hug your boys and give your Craig an extra hard hug for being a true hero. I’m so glad the Lord Jesus was with you all.

  12. Gloria Gleason says:

    Thanksgiving goes on daily when we breathe sighs of relief for all the experiences our loved ones go through and come out unscathed! Angels walk among us! I pray that the Lord keeps all His children in His circle of protection! Whew!! Your boys are adorable and so precious! We’ll all pray that Gannon’s BUSY schedule maintains his sweet disposition! Carver sure looks like his Uncle Carl!! Special family!!
    Gloria. From Bellevue, NE, CO, TX. A wanderer? XOXO

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