Police report reveals dramatic story behind rescue of 7 children, 2 women from overturned car in creek

Seven children, including an infant, and two women were injured in a one-vehicle accident on I-94 in LaPorte County Sunday morning, April 29, 2018. LaPorte County Deputy Neil Lachmund’s narrative in the police report released April 30 reveals the dramatic story of their rescues, including revival of the infant: 
“On April 29, 2018, deputies were summoned to the area of the 37 Mile Marker of I-94, eastbound lanes, to check on a subject standing on the highway. Capt. Smythe arrived in the area and was flagged down by a female. It was discovered that she had been involved in a single-vehicle crash and there were numerous children in need of help.
“Capt. Smythe located the vehicle upside down in a small creek. The vehicle was down an embankment and could not be seen from the highway. Capt. Smythe located the occupants of the vehicle across a small ditch on the side of an embankment and requested EMS and additional units to assist.
“I arrived and first noticed a female holding a baby and crying for help while standing next to Capt. Smythe’s vehicle. She appeared to be very wet so I gathered some clean towels from my commission and went to assist her. I then heard Capt. Smythe call for immediate assistance in getting numerous children across the creek and out of the cold. Capt. Smythe and Sgt. Battleday had cut a woven wire fence which was separating them from the remaining victims. They were in the process of carrying all of the children down the embankment through the ditch to Capt. Smythe’s vehicle. Once in the vehicle they were covered in blankets and towels as they were all visibly shaking and cold. In total there were 6 children and one adult sitting on the embankment on the other side of the fence.
“I climbed down the embankment and met with Capt. Smythe, who handed me an infant car seat that was completely saturated. Capt. Smythe advised me there was a baby in the seat and its status was unknown. I took the car seat to my commission and began removing the wet blankets. I uncovered a female baby who was extremely cold to the touch and unresponsive. I turned up the heat in my commission and wrapped the infant in a clean, dry, towel. I administered a light sternum rub and the infant let out a faint cry.
“Moments later, the first ambulance arrived. I picked up the infant and moved her into the ambulance where I obtained a dry blanket to replace the towel that was already becoming cold and wet. Once in the ambulance, I removed the cold wet clothes from the infant and wrapped her in the dry blanket. I then held the infant to my chest and continued attempts to stimulate her. As she warmed up, she began crying. Another female infant and a 7- or 8-year-old female were brought onto the ambulance. I gave my
car keys to an Indiana State Trooper and advised her I would be riding with the ambulance to the hospital.
“Once at the hospital, the infant was turned over to the care of St. Anthony Hospital staff. Capt. Smythe and Sgt. Battleday remained on scene until all of the victims were transported by EMS. In all, 2 adults and 7 children, ranging from 3 months old to 8 years old, were transported to various hospitals for treatment.”
(The driver was identified on the report as Blair Beathea, 31, of South Bend.) 

6 Responses to “Police report reveals dramatic story behind rescue of 7 children, 2 women from overturned car in creek”

  1. Raymond Kowalski

    Apr 30. 2018

    Come on folks !!!!!!!!! Wonderful job by our Deputies and Troopers and First Responders. Lets see some thanks to these fine people.
    Hope everyone is doing well.

    Reply to this comment
  2. NICHOLE M. GOODRICH

    Apr 30. 2018

    Great job first responders <3 <3 <3

    Reply to this comment
  3. Kathy Putz Wegiel

    Apr 30. 2018

    Outstanding public service, first rate community care. I thank you and applaud your service.

    Reply to this comment
  4. John G

    May 01. 2018

    Way to go Neil and to the rest of the first responders, GREAT JOB, had to be an emotional and cold rescue…

    Reply to this comment
  5. Carol B

    May 01. 2018

    Awesome job to the first responders!
    Believe it or not there is more good in the world than bad.
    Thank God one of the ladies was able to get up to the road and flag out help.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Judi M.

    May 02. 2018

    Thank you to all involved. You folks are wonderful and a tribute to the county, state and the USA. God Bless.

    Reply to this comment

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