Facing a "Sophie's Choice" nightmare scenario, a father in New Zealand had to make a horrible no-win choice of his own -- save either his wife or his son from drowning in a river. He saved his wife and is now mourning the death of his son.
According to a report in the Dominion Post, Vanessa Horton, her 13-year-old son Silva, and the boy's friend were in a car, chasing some teenagers who destroyed their mailbox. When they caught up to the teens, Vanessa pulled over to talk to them. But somehow the car just kept going, and plunged into a river.
Stacy Horton arrived at the scene moments later and heard the anguished screams of his wife and son. The other boy escaped the car, along with the family dog. He saw the car in three feet of water, and sinking fast.
"I tried to get down and get him, but I couldn't, it was just too deep. And Vanessa was going under," Horton told the newspaper. "I made a call to pull my wife to safety.
"I just had to accept the fact that he had gone... Instead of going down and risking my life as well as my wife and son's, I chose to take V back and sat on the shore praying. It was all I could do."
First responders to the scene also dove in to try to rescue the boy, but to no avail.
"It was a long shot, but it was worth the risk to try and save him," station officer Gary Wilson said.
"It's just a freak accident. We can't blame anyone," Horton said. "I've forgiven the kids who were wrecking our letter box."
Photo: Courtesy of CloseUp