Canada: She's a hero': Rescuer says mom died saving her son from Niagara River - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada She's a hero': Rescuer says mom died saving her son from Niagara River

02:50  24 september  2019
02:50  24 september  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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a person smiling for the camera: Friends have identified Amanda Martin, 29, as the woman who died after being pulled from the Niagara River Friday evening.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Friends have identified Amanda Martin, 29, as the woman who died after being pulled from the Niagara River Friday evening.

The people who loved Amanda Martin are still searching for answers to explain how she, Joshawa Brooks and their young son ended up in the Niagara River Friday.

But the man who pulled the mother and child from the water said he knows one thing — Martin died saving the life of her child.

Following a weekend of questions, details about the people involved in the strange and tragic incident in Fort Erie that saw two adults die and a child taken to hospital are becoming clear.

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Martin lived for her children, said Maryann Beck who described the 29-year-old as her best friend of nearly a decade.

"[Amanda] was incredible. She was just a saint," Beck said, while fighting back tears. "She was an amazing mom."

Martin's devotion to her children was obvious and her motherly care also enveloped others in the community, said Gloria Gaudet, who went to high school with her.

"She was also a mentor to a lot of young women who are all broken over the loss of Amanda," she wrote in a Facebook message. "She was so caring and we will never forget ehr smile or that laugh that could make the world smile."

What makes Martin's loss even more difficult to bear is the confusion around what led up to her death.

Police say Brooks was wanted for attempted murder

Police say they were called to the river near Jarvis Street and Niagara Boulevard in Fort Erie around 6:30 p.m. Friday after witnesses reported three people were in the water and in distress.

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A bystander managed to rescue a young boy and pull a 29-year-old woman from the water, according to Niagara police spokesperson Stephanie Sabourin.

Friends say that woman was Amanda Martin. She was taken to hospital in critical condition.

The child was also taken to hospital.

The third person, who police identified as 28-year-old Joshawa Raymond Douglas Brooks, was still missing.

Investigators said he was wanted for breach of probation and attempted Murder, which Sabourin comfirmed Monday was in connection to the child.

Police, including forensic officers and a dive team combed the river and announced the next day that they'd recovered Brooks' body.

Police say Martin died in hospital Saturday.

"There are still a number of questions as to what happened, what led up to the three being in the water," said Sabourin, adding the investigation remains open and anyone who witnessed what happened is asked to contact police.

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She knows her son saved her life, Luckett said , but doesn’t know he’s gone. Her sister said she ’ s been asking for him, saying , “Where’s James?” At that moment, as his mom was coming outside, the man opened fire, Luckett said . Alicia Jones knew she had been shot and asked relatives to get

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"This is obviously a very tragic incident," she said.

Rescuer says Martin 'gave up her life' to save son

Bob Steckley is the person who rescued Martin and her son from the river.

He too has questions about what happened.

On Friday Steckley arrived at his home along the river after a trip to Niagara Falls. As he was unloading the car he noticed a woman running along the grass near the road. She looked scared, so Steckley figured something was going on.

He and his wife headed to their porch to see what was happening and heard someone screaming for help.

Steckely grabbed some life jackets he keeps in a front closet in case of emergencies and ran down the steep, rocky shoreline.

"I could see a young boy struggling in the water and something else in the water with him," he said. "I didn't realize it at the time, but it was his mother who was already unconscious."

He quickly pulled on a life jacket and swam out to the boy.

The panicked child clambered onto Steckley, who said the weight pushed him under. He pulled the boy off and encouraged him to swim for shore, but he was too scared.

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"She always said she would die for them and that's exactly what she did," she said . " She ' s definitely a hero . It's hard because she lost her life but she "My son and my daughter ran into the house and screamed 'call 911!'" Gibson said . Her 7-year-old son was also stabbed, but has recovered from his

"I had to actually swim, pushing him to shore while I pulled what turned out to be his mother, Amanda to shore."

After a difficult swim, Steckley managed to reach the edge of the water and said another man helped him start performing CPR on the woman.

There was no sign of anyone else in the water when Steckley reached the mother and child. It wasn't until emergency crews arrived and police started interviewing people that he learned how they had reportedly ended up in the river.

Witnesses told Steckley they saw a man running into the water with a child in his arms. The woman was close behind and when she got close to the pair the man let go before disappearing underwater, he added.

"[A witness] said the last thing the mother said after she was struggling to get to shore was 'Get onto my back' and the little boy did. That forced her underwater. She ended up drowning," explained Steckley.

"She gave up her life to save her son. She's a hero for that and needs to be recognized as such."

Steckley said news of Martin's death hit him hard and he's struggling to come to terms with what happened.

"I'm having trouble dealing with the aftermath. The what-ifs. What if I had swam quicker? What if we had got home sooner?"

Friend says kids know their mom died a hero

While at least that much seems to be certain, Martin's loved ones are still trying to piece together what happened and say they're worried death might mean they never learn the truth.

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She knows her son saved her life, Luckett said , but doesn’t know he’s gone. Her sister said family members don’t want to tell her yet her son ’s dead while she ’ s still recovering in the hospital. Her son , though no angel — relatives said he sold drugs, and court records show he has a criminal record and

Beck says Brooks was released from jail on the Friday. He was known to police, confirmed Sabourin, who declined to say more.

The pair "had their fights," said Beck, who noted Brooks had a rough upbringing and mental health issues, but she said Martin loved him dearly and was always there for him.

"Amanda said it was the love of her life," she said. "He was great with the kids."

a sign on the side of a building: A memorial to Martin, including messages of love and stuffed animals has been created outside her home.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation A memorial to Martin, including messages of love and stuffed animals has been created outside her home.

A memorial, including messages of love, stuffed animals and candles has been created outside Martin's home.

Supporters have also launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover Martin's funeral costs and to support her two children.

The boy has been released from hospital and is being cared for by a family member, said Beck.

She cries when she thinks of what he's been through, but said she's sure both he and his sister know their mom died a hero.

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