MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two teenage brothers from Rochester survived a harrowing fall off a bridge in southeastern Minnesota.

Fourteen-year-old Zachary DeVries and his older brother, 15-year-old Brandon DeVries, said they accidentally fell off the U.S. 14 bridge into the Zumbro River on Tuesday night, when they were walking to the HyVee grocery store to rent a movie. The brothers followed a bike path and then decided to take what seemed like a shortcut crossing U.S. 14, instead of crossing the road at a stoplight.

“We didn’t even know we were on a bridge, I thought it was just a road,” Zachary DeVries said . “We jumped over the first one (median), and then we fell.”

One after the other, the brothers fell in the gap between the bridge lanes, an estimated 40 feet into shallow, rocky waters. The impact of landing knocked the boys unconscious.

“I woke up while we were down there. I couldn’t see much, I saw Brandon, he was laying in the water coughing. So I got really scared,” said Zachary, who grabbed Brandon’s collar and dragged him to shore.

Zachary screamed for help, and then realized no one could hear them. He said he doesn’t remember running for help, but he ended up finding a fire truck in a grocery parking lot.

Both boys were rushed to St. Mary’s Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Zachary has now been discharged with a broken arm, a fractured hip and a fractured nose, while his brother struggles with more serious injuries. Brandon was put on a ventilator, and doctors told the family that he has bruising and swelling in his brain, along with a fractured eye socket.

“I am glad my brother is still here,” Zachary said. “I don’t know what I would do without him.”

Doctors told Brandon he will fully recover, and Zachary vows to stay at his brother’s side until he is released from hospital, which will likely be next week.

Zachary said he and his brother learned a really important lesson: Look before you jump.

Parents Lisa and Brian DeVries call their sons’ survival nothing short of a miracle, a blessing they will celebrate this Christmas.

“This is probably the two greatest gifts we have received ever in our life – having our boys home,” Lisa DeVries said.

Comments (21)
  1. RIII says:

    It is good to hear the boys will be OK. I have to wonder if too many video games and movies voided common sense in this instance.

    1. Huh? says:

      So yer saying that playing video games and watching movies diminished their common sense? Man, that’s really silly.

  2. Never knew says:

    You do ?????

  3. Jeff Jensen says:

    stoooopid Lemmings……

  4. Bud says:

    Both of them, just plain lucky. You will know next time.

  5. Lee says:

    People still rent movies at grocery stores?

    1. RedBox... says:

      …best invention ever. I just returned two movies to Lunds.

  6. Brett says:

    Something smells fishy here. So a 14 and a 15 year old, who have probably lived in that area for years, didn’t know that they were on a bridge over a river, presumably in their own neighborhood?? A bridge that always has either rails or concrete walls on both sides of a bridge? Glad to hear that they weren’t killed, but geez…..

    1. Jay says:

      You voiced the same concerns I have about this incident. Either theyre both very stupid, or theyre blind! Happy to hear theyll both be okay, but maybe they need a babysitter /chapperone when theyre aloowed outside again.

      1. Mai says:

        We will drive them whenever they wanna come outside. Thank you for your concern even though it’s not your own business!!!

    2. Mai says:

      they just moved to rochester for 2 years, and this is their first year staying around that neighborhood. What they said is 100% true, so don’t say those stuffs like that, you don’t know what they and their family had been through!!!!

      1. anglwngs911 says:

        Thanks Mai, we need to thank god that they are going to be ok,, and yes there whole family has been through a terrible time, now they all need to heal, they are a close nit family,

        1. jackactionhero says:

          We need to thank doctors and modern medicine and keep the talk of magic and magicians out of it.

    3. Kyla says:

      How is this fishy exactly? This family has been through a hell of a lot..trust me..I’m part of it. They moved there 2 years ago. Rochester is a big city. My god.

  7. anglwng911 says:

    Hey I happen to know this family ,these are 2 good kids, It was a accident, plain and simple, Its a mircle they are still alive,, why dont we think of the possitive things and thank god that these 2 boys are alive and are going to make a full recovery, jezz you people,,it could have been much worse, maybe they dont use that bridge,, ,, and by the way,, they havent lived there for years,

    1. Brett says:

      Like I said, I’m glad that these two weren’t killed, but I still go back to my original post, where I said that they were on a roadway with either RAILS or concrete WALLS on BOTH sides of the bridge. You wouldn’t see these things on a roadway on a flat piece of land….. I’d bet that my niece and nephew, who are both under the age of 10, would recognize that these ‘barriers’ were there for a REASON, and would LOOK before JUMPING. Just saying…..

      1. Kyla says:

        Ever heard of night? You know where you can’t see a lot? Just stop.

  8. AB Essa says:

    f you keep a dog either for sporting, competing, or simply for leisure, you probably know how significant it is to have him go through dog obedience training. A pet dog that is well behaved is always pleasurable to take along because he is less likely to go wild and cause troubles to other people. […] Read more