Father rescues son after falling down waterfall

July 27, 2011 1:43:35 PM PDT
3-year-old Emanuel Vazquez laughs and smiles ear-to-ear. He rides his three-wheeler outside his home, seemingly oblivious of the danger he was in just days before.

Over the weekend, Vazquez and his family were at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon. They climbed to the top of mountain, and then stopped for a drink near a massive waterfall.

"I heard him say 'Mommy look I'm sitting down', so as soon as I turned around, he was already flipping out and falling," said Emanuel's mother, "I just started screaming. I didn't know what to do!"

But Emanuel's father, Romero Vazquez, did know what to do - he jumped the railing without hesitation.

"I feared he'd go all the way down to where the rocks were," said Romero, who slid as fast as he could until he reached his son.

The father and son eventually stopped, and just held on as they hoped to avoid the base of the 177-foot falls. Some bystanders were already at the bottom and helped them down safely.

Emanuel emerged with only scratches; his father emerged a hero.