Lakeville family thankful to strangers who saved kids in Gooseberry Falls incident

Eric Chaloux
Updated: August 12, 2020 05:15 PM
Created: August 12, 2020 02:59 PM

It was supposed to be an afternoon of family fun at Gooseberry Falls State Park on the North Shore for a Lakeville family but quickly turned into a nightmare when their kids slipped into the river.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the two children were rescued on Saturday afternoon after going over the lower falls.


“With Hunter, it happened so quick, he slipped, Caydence went to grab him,” said Malerie Silver, the children's’ mother. “It was almost like the rock had a slide shape and they both kind of slid down into the water.”

Silver said right before the incident occurred, the family (that includes 6-year-old Hunter and 5-year-old Caydence) were exploring the path by the river.

The kids reportedly fell around 40 feet over the falls to the water below.

Family: 2 children survive fall at Gooseberry Falls State Park

“Someone called 911 that was holding me, another person grabbed me and started praying, I was just screaming,” Silver said. “It was like time would not move. It was every mother's worst nightmare.”

Silver raced down to get to where her children landed in the water below the falls. Strangers pulled the two kids out of the river, including Hunter who was unconscious and Caydence who had broken bones.

“Words will never describe the thanks we have in our hearts for them,” said Silver of the strangers who helped. “I’m forever grateful to them.”

The two children were airlifted to a Duluth hospital after the incident.

Caydence needed stitches in her nose and hand. She has a broken finger and her arm is broken through her elbow. She was released from the hospital on Sunday.

Hunter had a concussion but was released from the hospital a few hours later. His eye will be checked for possible injuries when the swelling goes down, his mother said.

“I stared at those waterfalls, I saw those rocks sticking out (the kids) went from the top all the way to the bottom,” Silver said. “I was like how could a child so small and fragile survive the drop, let alone all those rocks protruding out.”

A GoFundMe page has been started to help the family with medical expenses.

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