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Father speaks out after heroic bystanders jumped into icy river to save three children


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  • Roger Anderson's car slid into water off icy canyon road in Logan, Utah
  • Daughter Mia, 9, son Baylor, 4, and friend, Kenya Wildman, 9, trapped
  • But bystanders jumped into water, pulled them out and performed CPR
  • All three children survived and father has thanked their heroic rescuers

These are the three children who miraculously survived after a father lost control of his car last weekend on a winding canyon road and slid into an icy river, trapping them inside.

Roger Andersen’s car slid into the water in Logan, Utah, flipped upside down and quickly became submerged - trapping his daughter Mia, 9, son Baylor, 4, and their friend, Kenya Wildman, 9.

‘The first thought was, "So this is it how it ends",’ the 46-year-old said on Monday. ‘This could very easily have been a funeral for four of us.’ But it wasn’t, thanks to a handful of heroic passers-by.


Survivors: Kenya Wildman, Mia Andersen and Baylor Andersen (left-to-right) pose for a photo on Monday in Logan, Utah. The girls were rescued from an overturned car that was submerged in an icy river on Saturday

‘I was amazed at the people and the readiness of people to jump in and help,’ he said. ‘Without hesitation they just did what they had to do (which), for our family, made all the difference.’

The witnesses stopped and jumped into the frigid river to help within seconds. Mr Andersen said they were on their way to a ski resort on Saturday when the accident happened on a treacherous road.

They had travelled on it hundreds of times and it didn't appear icy at first - but as they made their way up the canyon, it got slicker so he slowed. Just one tap on the brakes was all it took.

‘In a second, I was completely off the road and sliding down the embankment,’ he said. ‘Within a second, the entire cabin of the vehicle was full of water.’

He struggled and failed to free the children from their seatbelts - and he needed to breathe.


Emotional: Roger Andersen, left, and his wife Mindy Andersen speak at Logan Regional Hospital, in Logan, Utah. Mr Andersen lost control of the car he was driving and it was submerged in an icy river

‘I decided the best thing was to get out of the car and get air,’ he said. ‘In no less than 10 seconds, there were a half-dozen men standing on the banks of the river.

‘Their questions to me were: “Who else was in the car?” ‘Within five seconds, there were eight men in the river... ready to assist.’

The rescuers pulled the children from the car and passed them up the river bank to others, where some performed CPR on two of them - his children. They were unconscious and not breathing.

They all loaded up into a friend's SUV and sped down the mountain for help, but were met about halfway by paramedics, Mr Andersen said.

His two children were flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City, treated for hypothermia and released on Monday. The family friend also was treated and released.


Potential disaster: The witnesses stopped and jumped into the frigid river to help within seconds

‘In a matter of a couple of days, now Baylor is running around just like nothing ever happened to him, and Mia is fine and Kenya is also fine,’ he said. ‘It's a story to me that is inspiring in many ways.’

He said he will now learn more about how to help others. ‘I need to do more so I can be at that level where I can step in and help people,’ Mr Andersen said.

Kenya's father, Dennis Wildman, called it ‘a great story about the human spirit’. The bystanders who helped ‘literally brought our children home to us,’ he said, adding: ‘We just want to say thank you.’

Former police officer Chris Willden was among the first on the scene. He said he shot out one of the car's windows with his pistol to reach the trapped kids.

‘I was trying to grab arms, but I couldn't feel anything,’ Mr Willden said. ‘I'm thinking ... 'What are we going to do?'‘


Heroes: As many as 10 passers-by jumped in to flip the car back over and rescue three young children inside


Hero: Former police officer Chris Willden was among the first on the scene. He said he shot out one of the car's windows with his pistol to reach the trapped kids

He saw at least eight other people had scrambled down the 10ft embankment along U.S. 89 to help.

‘I remember thinking to myself, “You're going to see some dead kids, get ready”,’ Mr Willden said. ‘I've got three of my own and it was going to be (an awful) start to the New Year.’

One of the girls had found an air pocket but was trapped by her seat belt. Mr Willden cut it with a pocket knife and pulled her from the rear passenger window. The two other children soon followed.

Mr Andersen's wife, Mindy, fought to keep from crying on Monday as she thanked the bystanders for saving the children's lives. ‘”Hero” is not even big enough for what they did,’ she said.


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children saved by the use of a pistol. :P

they where lucky it was a busy road that day.

hopely the marriage last afterwards. this kidn of stuff can still mess and destroy it.

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