B.C. toddler saved from river after two hours still wants to ride truck

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Demetrius Jones will be turning three on Wednesday without any idea how lucky he is to be alive after being swept up by a current in the Peace River, from where he was rescued clinging to his motorized truck.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Demetrius Jones will be turning three on Wednesday without any idea how lucky he is to be alive after being swept up by a current in the Peace River, from where he was rescued clinging to his motorized truck.

The toddler had travelled about 12 kilometres down the river on his own after leaving his grandmother’s holiday trailer two hours earlier.

Anita Neudorf said the boy was staying with her at Peace Island Park in Taylor, B.C., while his parents were in a nearby tent.

Neudorf said she didn’t hear a sound when Jones left the trailer by himself at about 7:30 a.m., on Sunday.

Other campers told her they’d heard the boy in his battery-operated truck at that time, she said.

“He had told his parents that he had made his truck into a boat and rode down the river,” Neudorf said.

Several campers and friends of the family came out in full force to search for the little boy, and everyone expected the worst, she said.

“We wouldn’t go near the river because I said to my son, if he’s in the river, he’s gone and all I could think of was, ‘I’m going to be burying my grandson.”’

Neudorf said Jones’ parents are still in shock as they relive their son’s close call on the river.

RCMP were called half an hour after Neudorf said they’d searched the park grounds and realized he probably headed into the river.

Fort St. John resident Don Loewen was one of the campers looking for the boy.

He got into a boat with four other people to help search for Jones and found him just before 10 a.m., calling his safe rescue an “act of God.”

“He wasn’t crying or whimpering or anything,” Loewen said. “He was cold but he was in the kneeling position on top of his upside down car in a couple of inches of water.”

“He was in 15 feet of water but the car itself was kind of semi-submerged, so his legs were under water and his hands, but his torso and his head and stuff were above water.”

Jones was taken to hospital by the RCMP officers, who he calls “wheels wheels” and was excited to tell his parents about his adventures with them.

Neudorf said he was in the hospital for about an hour and was treated for the first stages of hypothermia but other than some sore muscles, he was unfazed by what had happened.

“He’s sore, he was walking a little funny and I asked him if his legs hurt. He said ‘Yes.”’

She said that besides being a little clingy, Jones still wants to go back on the river on his “boat.”

His family planned a birthday party for him at the park on Sunday after his safe return.

Park manager Sandra Rundle bought ice cream for the kids and her brother donated some food as well.

“We put together a little extra stuff so we could have the campers that were still here and helped all join the birthday party,” Rundle said. “We basically had a celebration of life rather than just a birthday.”

Fort St. John RCMP Const. Jackelynn Passarell said such a situation could have happened to any family.

“Three-year-olds are quite active and they can get out of your view very quickly and especially when there’s lots of other family around you presume that maybe they’re with other family members,” she said.

But Passarell said Jones’ story may help parents be more vigilant when their kids are around water.

Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

Most Read