Man returns shoes after rescuing toddler 50 years ago from Niagara Gorge

Niagara Falls resident Ben Schweitzer helped rescue 3-year-old April Lynn Hubbard on March 30,...

Niagara Falls resident Ben Schweitzer helped rescue 3-year-old April Lynn Hubbard on March 30, 1962, when she fell into the Niagara Gorge. (MIKE DIBATTISTA /QMI Agency)

Ray Spiteri, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:59 PM ET

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — After sitting in a closet for five decades, the tattered black shoes that belonged to then three-year-old April Lynn Hubbard when she was rescued after a fall into the Niagara Gorge have finally been returned to her family.

Ben and Joan Schweitzer drove to Westmeath, Ont., on Sept. 27 to deliver the shoes to Hubbard’s 22-year-old daughter, Sherri Gagnon.

The Schweitzers, along with family members of the other gorge rescuers, had hoped to reunite Hubbard with the shoes she wore that night.

But when Gagnon sent them an e-mail in February confirming her mother was Hubbard, but had died of breast cancer 12 years ago, the Schweitzers felt it was appropriate to give the shoes to Gagnon.

“Oh wow!” Joan said when asked what Gagnon’s first reaction when she saw the shoes. “She said she couldn’t believe it was really happening, that she was finally getting something. She had a small box with all her mom’s pictures that she showed us.”

 


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