2 police officers rescue pregnant woman from Detroit River

Woman, newborn baby healthy after fall

By Koco McAboy - Reporter , Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - Two police officers and many others helped rescue a pregnant woman Monday from the freezing waters of the Detroit River.

It took a village to help get the woman safely to shore, including heroic officers who jumped into the river, people on the shore and even the JW Westcott mail boat. They all came together late Monday night to help save the woman's life when she fell into the freezing water.

Police said good Samaritans and first responders all risked their lives to save the woman and her baby.

"She was definitely fighting for her life," Officer Steven Rauser said.

Cellphone video shows the dramatic scene. First responders rescued the woman after she fell into the river.

"It seemed she was fading out, like she had hypothermia," Officer Brian Gadwell said.

At that point, Gadwell jumped into the cold water, holding the woman up with his legs.

"I thought I was going to die, to be honest with you," Gadwell said.

His partner, Rauser, immediately acted.

"He's going in, I'm going in type thing," Rauser said. "We were just lucky those people were there because without them, she would have drowned."

Mariners from the JW Westcott saw and heard what was happening.

"They came running over and asked if there was anything they could do, and we said, 'Yeah, bring your boat over,'" Rauser said.

Joe Buchanan and Ryan Gazdecki threw out a life ring.

"Wasn't even a second thought," Gazdecki said. "We did what we had to do right away and acted on it."

The second thoughts didn't come until after the rescue.

"I could have died, and that got to my emotions," Gadwell said. "Like, I could have died. What would have happened to my kids?"

All of them put their lives on the line for the woman.

"I don't think I'll forget this," Buchanan said.

The woman and her newborn baby are alive and well after the terrifying fall.

"She told me she loved me, and I told her, 'I love you too, or else I wouldn't be in here with you,'" Gazdecki said.

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