Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 21, 2013

'Hero' from famous Falls rescue turns 100

Niagara Gazette — When John R. Hayes Sr., 48, a visitor from New Jersey, spotted the crisis near Terrapin Point that day, July 9, 1960, he dashed to the railing — less than 200 feet from the brink of the Horseshoe Falls — and started shouting.

"Kick, girl! Kick your feet, come to me!" he screamed to Deanne Woodward, 17, tossing in the rapids above the 161-foot Horseshoe Falls. She had been riding in a boat with her brother, Roger Woodward, 7, and James Honeycutt, 42, who had taken the children on an outing for Deanne's birthday. When their disabled craft drifted into the upper rapids, it soon capsized, spilling the trio into the unpredictable currents.

Lots of tourists were standing around that prime viewing area but only one — John Quattrochi of Penns Grove, N.J. — volunteered for the team effort to save the teenager from almost certain death. "It was John (Quattrochi) who raced over to help," recalled Hayes, marking his 100th birthday earlier this week. Within seconds, Hayes was leaning out as far as he could, Quattrochi firmly grasping his legs. Deanne also remembers: "That voice (Hayes) came out of nowhere and he was telling me what to do. I was so tired that I was almost ready to give up." As she floated closer to the shoreline, Hayes snatched her extended hand. The two men lifted her out of the water and gently placed her on the pathway close to the river. "My thoughts were never on myself," Hayes said, "I just saw a desperate need and did what I had to do to meet that need. Do I dream about it sometimes? Yes, and thoughts about how my family would be taken care of if something happened to me."

Meanwhile, in what the media has dubbed "The Miracle of Niagara," Roger, wearing only a frayed lifejacket for protection, was swept over the falls, landing in the churning waters. A crew on the Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat heading into the Horseshoe, plucked him to safety. Honeycutt was killed in the steep plunge and his body recovered several days later. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results