Man saved in St. Croix River rescue

Nick Edwards fell nearly 100 feet while hiking at Taylors Falls, and several bystanders jumped into action to save him. He had bleeding on his brain, 3 fractured vertebrae, and cuts and bruises - but he's alive.

MINNEAPOLIS - When Nick Edwards woke up, he was in a hospital bed.

"I wasn't really processing the situation at all. You know, I was just kind of freaking out," said the 21-year-old from St. Louis Park.

His friends were freaking out, too.

"It was the scariest moment I've ever seen. Just like he just disappeared," said Marc Gonzalez.

Saturday along the St. Croix River, Edwards and his two friends, Gonzalez and Grant Murphrey, were hiking by Taylors Falls.

"He was kind of just dancing on some rocks, kind of close to the cliff edge and I told him, 'Nick, you have to be careful,'" said Gonzalez. 

Edwards slipped and down he fell, 75 to 100 feet.

Elijah Phernetton with Taylors Falls Scenic Boat Tours heard a scream. His crew floored it, picking up three doctors with the University of Minnesota, who just happened to be there on vacation and who jumped in as first responders. Then, even more people helped.

"The fishermen had some cutting boards for the fish, and they threw him on to the cutting board to stabilize him," said Phernetton.

Edwards was flown to HCMC, a level one trauma center, where he had to be treated for bleeding in his brain and three fractured vertebrae. He also had to get 30 stitches on his face and arms.

"48 hours and I feel ecstatic," said Edwards.

Edwards is laughing already, but he's not exactly joking.

"Now that I see him walking around and cracking jokes, I'm just mind blown," said Gonzalez.

And, in another four days, Edwards hopes to be out of this hospital bed that he woke up in. All thanks to his friends and those first responders.

"I feel like they save a lot of people's lives every day ... including mine," said Edwards.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Edwards with his recovery.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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