Dad Dies Saving Drowning Toddler Who Fell From a Bridge on Father's Day Weekend

Christopher Franklin Nicholas Schultz
KCRA 3

A 31-year-old dad from Frazee, Minnesota, drowned over Father's Day weekend while attempting to save his young son from the same fate. Christopher Franklin Nicholas Schultz jumped into a lake to try and rescue his 3-year-old son who had accidentally fallen into the body of water, but the rescue ended in disaster for the devoted dad.

  • Schultz dove into the lake on Saturday night after his son fell from a bridge at Dead Shot Bay.

    Although it's unclear what the father and son were doing at the bridge on Saturday night, Fox 2 reported that police received a call at 8:22 p.m. that there was a possible drowning at Long Bridge at Dead Shot Bay. Schultz's 3-year-old son had fallen from the bridge, and acting quickly, his father dove into the water to save him.

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  • But Schultz began to struggle as he attempted to keep his boy above water.

    Bystanders who were watching the father and son struggle to escape the water went in to help grab the toddler and bring him to shore, but Schultz didn't resurface.

    Bill Wickum, a local of the area where Schultz died, described the spot where the boy fell as dangerous. "It is deep, there is a current, but it’s fairly close to where you can touch," he explained. "Five strokes to where you can probably hit bottom." And the current possibly proved too strong for Schultz to overcome.

    The Grand Forks Herald noted that officers brought boats with them when they arrived on the scene, which they then used to immediately begin the search for the dad.

    It was only at 9:07 p.m. that they found his body with the help of a fishermen and the Becker County Dive Rescue Team. Schultz was transported to Essentia St. Mary's-Detroit Lakes Hospital, where he was pronounced dead and his son was treated for his injuries, which were not life-threatening.

  • Police and friends of the dad are sharing his story to honor his courageous last act.

    A friend of Schultz, Matthew Clark, spoke candidly to Kare 11 and explained the legacy that his friend will have after his passing.

    "Guy sacrificed his life to make sure his kid could see another day, wasn't thinking anything other than that," Clark said. "Without hesitation, jumping right in ... that's heroic. To me, that's an honorable death. It really is."

    And Wickum agreed. "You’re a father. You’re going to do anything you can to save the kid," he told Fox 2. "He made the ultimate sacrifice for his son, and I hope his son grows up to be a worthy recipient of that because you can’t think of any greater sacrifice. So, that’s a sad, sad, story."

    A friend has since started a GoFundMe account to cover funeral expenses.

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