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Idaho man speaks out after falling 50 feet into Snake River

Posted at 9:35 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 01:26:31-05

Steven Arrasmith has much to be thankful for this week. He survived a major fall into the Snake River Monday morning.

Arrasmith tells 6 On Your Side giving up wasn't an option as he only had one thing on his mind during the ordeal.

"The only thing I could think of at that time is, you know, my son," he says. "That was my drive, my desire, my motivation, because I was going home to see my son."

At about 6:00 am Monday, Arrasmith stopped his car to see if people inside a parked car on the Snake River Bridge between Idaho and Oregon on I-84 needed help.

"I was doing what I would do any other day of the week," Arrasmith says. "I needed to make sure that people in that car were OK."

While Arrasmith was standing outside his SUV on the bridge, another car lost control on black ice and hit Arrasmith's Jeep.

"It shot into the cement barrier or the bridge and the Jeep shot back and hit me, and, when it hit me, it forced me over the railing and into the water," he says.

Despite having a broken leg, Arrasmith shed his heavy jacket and clothes so he could swim to a nearby island to yell for help.

"When I got to shore, I couldn't pull myself up because of my leg," Arrasmith says. "The top part of my leg is moving and the bottom part is not, it's just kind of dangling there doing its own thing... I had to sit there with my ankles and feet in the water, and I sat there for an hour."

The whole time, Arrasmith said he had his little boy on his mind.

"The only thing I could think of was surviving so I could get home and see my son," he says. "That's all that mattered to me. That's all I wanted."

Arrasmith says he is thankful he survived and wants to caution drivers hitting the roads this winter.

"Slow down," he says. "It could be your life or it could be someone else's."

Arrasmith hopes to be out of the hospital by Thanksgiving and that he has a chance to see his son soon.

There is a GoFundMe account set up to help with Arrasmith's medical expenses.