SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 10, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — One of two children critically injured when they were trapped in a car that drove into the Jordan River Surplus Canal has died.
The female driver and four juveniles — ages 17, 16, 15 and 2 — were submerged, when the car went into the canal at about 11 p.m. Saturday. The woman and the two oldest juveniles escaped.
Trapped for longer were the toddler girl and the 15-year-old boy. It was the teen who passed away on Monday.
“The two youngest were still trapped when several Salt Lake City police officers arrived,” a statement from the Salt Lake City Police Department says.
“Upon arrival, four officers quickly removed their vests and belts and ran into the water to save the children as the car slipped under the surface.”
One officer dove into the water several times to enter through a window but was unable to get in due to the murkiness of the water.
“With no thought to personal safety, officers immediately stripped their gear and attempted a daring rescue of these two children,” said Police Chief Mike Brown in the prepared statement.
“It was dark. The water was cold. But these officers did not hesitate to come to the aid and work to save lives. I am proud of them and thankful to the bystanders who helped during this incident.
“Salt Lake City Fire Department arrived, and several firefighters dove into the river to help the rescue efforts,” the SLCPD statement continues.
One of the firefighters was able to use his fire-fighting self-contained breathing apparatus to make entry and get the 2-year-old out of the vehicle. Both patients were passed on to waiting Salt Lake City Fire Department paramedics, who resuscitated them.
“The rescue of these two children illustrates the dedication of Salt Lake City’s public safety employees. The immediate action of both SLCPD and SLCFD brought both children out of the water and to awaiting medical care,” SLCFD Chief Karl Lieb said in the statement.
“Anything less would not have given these kids even a chance of survival. This is what we do. And I am exceedingly proud of our team’s commitment to preserving life – even at great risk to our own.
“The children were transported to an area hospital for treatment. Sadly, the 15-year-old male succumbed to his injuries today. Our hearts ache for his family and we mourn their loss with them.”
To see the body camera video, which is dark in parts, click on the player below. (Please be aware, the video captures the cries of the distraught family members and may be disturbing for some viewers.)