Man survives being hit by car, falling 50 feet into freezing water

Posted at 7:50 PM, Nov 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 19:50:59-05

Steven Arrasmith can really count his blessings this Thanksgiving.

“I hurt right now,” he said with a smile as he recounted his harrowing experience to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota Wednesday.

The Idaho resident was driving home after work Monday morning when he spotted an accident on a bridge.

“I’m first-aid certified, CPR certified, so my first instinct was to jump out and help them,” he said.

But when Arrasmith left his Jeep, another vehicle plowed into it. It hit him, breaking his left leg and his ribs, and tossing him over the side of the bridge. He was able to hang on for a moment.

“As I was hanging off the bridge, the only thing I could think about was getting home to see my son,” Arrasmith explained.

But he fell 50 feet into the freezing water of the Snake River. He told Camerota he stayed focused on where he was so that he could swim in the right direction, which he managed to do, despite a heavy jacket weighing him down and many broken bones.

Arrasmith said he never questioned whether he would survive — he just continued to think about his 7-month-old son. And he says he’s going to continue to carry that positive outlook with him.

“I look at it this way… there were many things that could have killed me at that point,” he said. “But, you know, it didn’t. It’s going to make me a stronger person.”