WEST BROWARD (CBS4) – Mary Beth Northrup’s face lights up when she speaks of her youngest son, Nathan. He was the boy who “loved anything with engines.”

Mary Beth and her husband Jeff are left grieving Nathan’s death after he was killed Thursday afternoon when the truck he was riding in became partially submerged in a canal near Krome Avenue. Nathan was trapped inside.

“He was so happy and an optimistic person,” Mary Beth said. “Lots of talents. Lots of gifts. He had a very bright future.”

But that future — which included a pilot’s license and enrollment in Broward College in the fall — is no more.

“It’s very sobering to make funeral arrangements for your 18 year old child,” Mary Beth said.

Mary Beth Northrup said she got a phone call at work Thursday telling her that Nathan had been involved in an accident near Krome Avenue. The Broward Sheriff’s Office says Nathan was sitting behind the driver when the truck veered off a dirt road and went into a canal.

There were three other teens were in the truck heading to Mack’s Fish Camp to meet a friend.

“First day of summer, they were enjoying their freedom,” she said. “They were going to hang out — swim and fish.”

Keith Jones said he saw the truck veer into the canal. 911 was called and Jones and his brother rushed to help. They flipped the truck over and pulled the boys’ out but Nathan had been trapped too long. Mary Beth is grateful for their heroic efforts.

“I’m so grateful they were there to save the boys that they could,” she said. “There may have been nothing they could have done for Nathan. They did the best they could.”

Mary Beth said the driver of the truck is devastated and all the boys are grieving Nathan’s death. She says it was an accident and the family is relying on their foundation of faith to carry on.

“Nathan is with God and we will see him again,” she said. “This is just a temporary parting. We hold firm to that. That’s the only thing that can get us through.”

Mary Beth said and her husband are comforted by the knowledge of how much Nathan loved life.

“We enjoyed him while he was here. We loved him and he had a good life,” she said. “Love your children when you have them. Appreciate them everyday.”


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