Hero Samaritans' Quick Reaction Rescue 80-Year-Old Woman and 3-Year-Old Child Pinned By Driver Backing Out Of Parking Spot
“This grandmother and young child will get a chance to see another Christmas.”
Good Samaritans rescued an 80-year-old woman and her three-year-old great-granddaughter after they were trapped under a car that had accidentally backed up on them. The driver didn't see the woman pushing the stroller as he reversed his Toyota Corolla in the parking lot of the Arbor Ponds Apartment Complex in Tampa, Florida on December 18. The whole incident had been recorded by a police officer's body camera. Here's what happened to the woman and baby and what neighbors did to help.
The woman was returning from a trip to the grocery store when the incident happened. According to the driver, he "felt a bump" as he reversed the car, which he initially thought was a storm drain. He then tried to drive the vehicle forward, but it wouldn't move. That's when he realized he had backed up over someone.
The woman and child were trapped under the car, and neighbors quickly tried to help while waiting for emergency services to get there. One of the neighbors used a hydraulic jack to raise the car and take pressure off the victims, and a police officer removed as much of the groceries as possible to allow them more space to breathe.
Body cam footage from Corporal Lance Baker shows him using a knife to cut the child out of the stroller with the help of Tampa Fire Rescue firefighters, lifting her to safety before helping the older woman. The great-grandmother is reportedly in critical condition, while the 3-year-old is stable.
The 23-year-old driver remained at the scene of the accident and cooperated with authorities. He was not impaired at the time and is not expected to be charged. "We are proud of Cpl. Baker's quick actions and calmness under pressure while helping this family. This is a shining example of the work Tampa Police officers do every day to protect and serve their community, not knowing if they'll be called upon to save a life or put their own life on the line at any given call for service," said Interim Chief of Police Lee Bercaw.
Bercaw noted that without the help of the neighbors and firefighters, the situation could have been a tragedy. "We are thankful for the good Samaritans and Tampa firefighters who also jumped into action to help make sure this grandmother and young child will get a chance to see another Christmas this week with their family," Bercaw continued.
If you find yourself pinned by a car, it can be a scary and stressful situation. Here are some steps you can take to try and stay safe and get help:
- Stay calm and try to remain as still as possible. Moving around or attempting to free yourself could cause further injury.
- If you are able to, use your phone to call for help. Dial 911 or your local emergency number and explain the situation to the operator.
- If you are unable to reach your phone, try to attract attention by shouting, honking a horn if one is nearby, or using a whistle or other loud noise-making device.
- If you are pinned in a position where you are able to reach the car's trunk, consider trying to access the trunk release latch. Many cars have a trunk release latch that can be activated from the inside of the car, which may allow you to escape.
- If you are unable to escape on your own, try to remain as comfortable as possible while you wait for help to arrive. Stay hydrated by drinking fluids if you have them, and try to keep your head and neck supported to reduce the risk of injury.
It's important to remember that every situation is different, and the best course of action will depend on your specific circumstances. If you find yourself pinned by a car, try to stay calm and take any steps you can to get help.